The Language of the Living

by Jan Yuill

In response to a recent ODNET message about organizations in in their final stages of life …

“Aliveness. Hope. Breath. Heartbeat. Some of my favourite words when talking about organizations!

I think the analogy of organizations being like humans works well. When we are on a downhill slope, what do we do? Scramble to regain some ground? Turn to others for help? Draw inward to reflect, realign, regroup, get focused? Run to the doctor or therapist? Take a pill? Eat better? Get some exercise? Spend quality time with loved ones? Read a book? We do lots of things when we are scared enough (mad enough, tired enough, etc.) to ‘save’ ourselves.

There are parallels for organizations in each of these strategies. Does it all come down to will, hope, belief, faith, desire, energy, … the ‘want’ to live and make a difference? I think so.

Victor Frankl said it comes down to three things – someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. (Thanks for the reminder, Ed.)”