I have written before about the power of "walking the fields." In the book, Theory U (2009), Otto Scharmer speaks of his farmer father taking the family on Sunday walks across their land. Scharmer describes the informative power of actually walking about the land that one relies on for sustenance and livelihood.
What happens in our workplace if we actually "walk the land," or
stroll through our business, or
make a site visit to a campus, or
converse with our customers in the reception area?
Here are some of the outcomes I believe we realize:
- We will see both desired crops (which we planted) and the weeds (which we didn't).
- Areas of need will be exposed: fences in disrepair, wash outs, fallen trees, dead animal carcasses, depleted plots of land, etc.
- We will likely step in some kind (or several kinds) poop. When we do, we must remember that poop is a remarkable fertilizer.
- The diversity and circularity of life will confront us on many levels. We must remember that these things are essential for its richness.
To be sure, it is much easier to stay in the cabin, by the fire; or in the office, doing paperwork. However, regular walkabouts are excellent "nutrition" for both the organization and its members.
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