Scrum Notes 2013-20

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Healing what ails us ▶️

Statue of Mulla Nasreddin in Ankara, Turkey

Mulla had lost his ring in the living room. He searched for it for a while, but since he could not find it, he went out into the yard and began to look there. His wife, who saw what he was doing, asked: "Mulla, you lost your ring in the room, why are you looking for it in the yard?" Mulla stroked his beard and said: "The room is too dark and I can't see very well. I came out to the courtyard to look for my ring because there is much more light out here."
— from Classic Tales of Mulla Nasreddin 1

Having just read, and mostly yawned my way through yet another overly-complicated white paper on corporate leadership I find myself edging yet further away from the fields of social science, economics, psychology and logic, and the focus on Agile methodologies, business modelling and leadership redefinition as being the places to seek a solution to our 21st century corporate mess.

I have a hunch that, like Mulla, we are looking in the wrong place. If there is any hope of real, deep, meaningful change at all, and not just another facade on top of the existing status quo, then the answer will be found not in mental models, where indeed the light of knowledge and reason shines brightest, but in spiritual ones where our flame merely flickers. Paradoxically, the truth is not always found where the light shines brightest.

In today's age of science and technology, where evidence and fact reign supreme we are slowly forgetting how to embrace the greater mystery, but somewhere within that mystery dwells the power to heal our damaged systems, our modus operandi, and ultimately our souls.

Rather than offer any model of my own, which would completely defeat the purpose of this post, I invite you instead to draw on your own faith, your sense of truth, your personal values to craft a dream of holistic healing, and consider how you may share that dream with others, in turn listening to their dreams.

In short, stoke your spiritual fire. Let go of logic, rationality and common sense, and embrace foolishness, improbability and rare sense. Turn towards the great unknown.

1 Quote from Classic Tales of Mulla Nasreddin, Retold by Houman Farzad, Translated from Persian by Diane L. Wilcox, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, California, 1989

Note: this article was first published in Great Leaders, Great Churches, September 2016

Sheffield, 16/04/2018   comment