LeadU presents GOING with the flow


GOING with the flow

Here is some context for what is a difficult, complex, multi-faceted notion of why people do what they do, most unconsciously rewarded for going with the flow?

In our @F-L-O-W group, Herb wrote:
…I was interviewing the head of one of the companies in the group you and I were working on.  He told me about relationships he had built between the group and certain government ministries and he told me about his strategy.  Your point was that the company owners drove the strategy and the relationships.  The strategy and relationships were artifacts, if I understand your use of the term, but they were artifacts of the owners’ creation, not of the interviewee’s.

Mike’s response was:
I… I would say this figuratively, and that is that often we find people talking, about, or are able to language a more complex notion, than they themselves can generate… and it is the vicarious ability we have to mimic, and assimilate other’s ideas, thoughts, and language as our own, without having to generate it as the original idea — or as I might suggest, going with the flow.

Testing this is key.  That is probably why Jaques relied on the manager’s discretionary judgment of performance, over time, to coincide with the CIP, or Complexity of Information Processing Model, for the research in human capability, if I’m making sense out of his research as it was intended…

Since I have made a number of these capability-vicariousness–arguments, and seen the mis-judgment of capability, I started looking to artifacts to add another dimension to the assessment of capability.  As noted in one of the TPOVs — Job Fit — I have added other pieces as well to "round" out the portfolio of capability assessment in terms of job fit.

The reason for identifying this portfolio of factors leading to our understanding of role creation, role fulfillment and role design, is an outgrowth of my research that I have done over the past 15 years using adult developmental models in business situations around the world.

The portfolio approach, albeit more involved and expensive, gives more detailed information about why development is what it is and what we can do, to not just assess it, but to begin to look at how to design scaffolding for it, which has been brought about by my experiences with the paradigm shift from BS to @F-L-O-W.

As Jaques indicated, it doesn’t do any good to wish people higher on a ladder of striving… or whatever… because people are going to be happiest when they are in @F-L-O-W, not when they are achieving goals that are not necessarily related to their own happiness; albeit some use indirect associations to cross the meta-boundaries where one action is done to benefit a related action, and the utility of that first action is unrelated to our desires, yet key in supporting the next action, which does do so.

So the idea of striving fits well with those in the 1-5% matched alignment.  It becomes a composite standard built of best practices that we lemmings then follow over the cliff… the problem being, we can’t fly…<G>

What is difficult but a major aspect of the paradigm shift from BS to FLOW is this:

It is very difficult (albeit naturally for a larger group than we think probably who are still other-directed, and or motivationally aligned with seeking rapport, approval, respect, blessings) for most people to deny the trends in the crowds because that brings about FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) about their "acceptance" as a result and that is yet another reason to not only notice, sense and adopt… going with the flow.

So in part, people are following and striving for those standards, not to achieve them, but to keep from being singled out, or falling out of favor.  You have motivational systems which all dictate that going along with the flow maybe more favorable than resisting, in affiliation and avoidance, and even in many cases where power and achievement are residing in some degree  —> in the towards direction, it may be a power or achieving strategy to go with the flow, at times, more beneficial than resisting it, for sure!

Boyatzis mentioned that in the social motive research, that there are only about 30% of us who will even respond to goals.  The other 70% are not naturally inclined to seek goal achievement by and of itself as do those involved in achievement, such as many directions could be at different points directly and indirectly.

So, for me, the most difficult concept to grok is how then does most of the population seem to want to follow the mutual best practices BS has generated?

Why aren’t they waking up to the notion that it might not be the most optimal path for them… and it has to do with the socializing aspects of society and what happens when you don’t fit in — why is going with the flow so essential to everyday life for a lot more people than we think?

Even Jaques mentions a number of times, how the flow of information, and tasks, and managerial practices, all generate the ease with which things seem to flow together, as in going with the flow, from another perspective, perhaps I am underestimating the power emergent from going with the flow?

Therefore, even though it would seem… that one is not as happy following the best practices and composite standards that we have accumulated as right, or at least acceptable–never being able to grasp them.  It would make a lot of people less happy to fall from the grace of society and be disapproved of if they resisted going with the flow?

Most will, I think, find that if they do their jobs and manage their p’s & q’s, that they will have "freedom" both economic and political to then do what they really want to do, when no one is looking, or watching, per se.

So, tradeoffs are made in order to keep the paradigm cohesive… which explains why change is so difficult and why societal inertia is so powerful.

Helpful Hint: It’s a vicarious world, and socially it is dangerous to think otherwise.  And according to our own dispensation of inbornness and it’s epigenetic expression, going with the flow, may be something that is entirely more unconscious than we believe, and it may have nothing to do with happiness, but preservation, which allows us to pursue happiness yet, another day because we are successful in keeping our heads down, and not getting singled out  —> for yet another day.

Perhaps wired into our being, doing, having and becoming, in addition, we have wired into us… for the most part, excepting the outliers, and perhaps they don’t have this genetic predisposition of preservation… this notion that going with the flow allows us to blend in, to not be singled out, so that we preserve the future right to self-determine through this going with the flow "social" mechanism.

Action Step: Try this the next time you feel yourself in "neutral" about how you should either go along with or resist the cultural inertia, go with the flow, or notice happiness…?  Do we actually value success over our happiness, or really… is success, happiness in some form, for a lot of people?  Is the pursuit of happiness, the constitutional grail that we in the USA have been fully endowed, misplaced, misunderstood, or mistaken, actually valid, or is it the foundation for BS?

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence and considered by some as part of one of the most well crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language.[1] These three aspects are listed among the "unalienable rights" or sovereign rights of man.

Perhaps, it should say:

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of success"…?

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    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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