Igniting your values and vision to drive sustainable personal and organization performance.
“A value is any belief, principle, or virtue held so deeply – consciously or unconsciously – that it drives behavior, decisions and actions.” — Ron Nahser
Pragmatic Inquiry acts as a thread through all kinds of leadership programs, seminars, strategic planning sessions etc. It is a way of thinking about some issue from different perspectives
At the heart of it all is to determine what values and vision need to drive the decisions to be made. In fact, putting values and beliefs into action which is the meaning of practicing pragmatism.
We are often asked if our emphasis on values is too soft. On the contrary, we believe that challenging, clarifying and activating values (see definition above) is essential to our inquirers as the source for transformative ideas and leading some sort of organization management change effort.
But what are these transformative ideas and how do we uncover them? (And where do they come from? See “A Final Thought” below.)
That’s the purpose of the “Arc of Pragmatic Inquiry”, testing and reflecting on what is driving them. We believe that reflection and commitment is a source of courage – something not often discussed…and difficult to “teach.” But we believe that is what will keep the inquirers focused and motivated during the inevitable tough times in overcoming the barrier to implement change.
We stress leadership for another simple reason – the principles of sustainability and the need for sustainable management have long been known. So, even with the heightened awareness today, there is the pressing need for creative and tough decisions.
What has been missing is the vision – the case/narrative/story – and courage to drive the changes needed. That’s why we put such emphasis on values as the source/inspiration to generate transformative ideas to learn what needs to be done in a rapidly changing environment. And this foundation of deeply held values gives the courage to articulate the ideas for yourself and others…and then do it.
A Final Thought: One way to think about our careers as quest, pilgrimage and adventures (e.g. referred to as: “The hero’s journey “- Campbell, “The Great Work” – Berry, “The Path of the Everyday Hero” – Ray, and the “Journey of the Universe” – Swimme and Tucker) to accomplish some great purpose and goal. Many have told stories of being “called” to the quests, compelled or what we often say: “work we can not NOT do.”
We believe this is the source of happiness, despite all the trials and challenges we inevitably face. And on our journeys, we also will meet and work with a lot of similar souls in community…the true source of happiness…so all life flourishes.