Tribal Leadership: Natural Groups and Thriving Organizations

The world is uncertain and chaotic. We recognize that people are vital and that the “soft stuff” is the “hard stuff”. But ultimately, it’s about performance and thriving in today’s reality.

What are we missing?

As Peter Drucker once said: “The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary human beings to do extraordinary things.”

How do we transform a Group into an Organization?

To transform a Group into an Organization, we need Structure and Process, an organizational structure and business processes.

How do we transform a Group into a Thriving Organization?

To transform a Group into a Thriving Organization, we need the right Structure and the right Process, the right organizational structure and the right business processes.

What do we mean by “right”?

The right organizational structure and the right business processes define the right Organization that will Thrive, which requires the right group and the right people. The right people are those who fit the Organization and the right Organization is one that fits its purpose.

What do we mean by “fit”!

Consider the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog! (See “The Scorpion and the Frog”). There was once a scorpion who wanted to cross a river. The scorpion asked a frog to carry him across the river. The frog refused and suggested that the scorpion would sting the frog and the frog would die. The scorpion assured the frog that he would not sting the frog since they would both die, the frog due to being stung would drown, and the scorpion due to being unable to swim would drown. After some thought, the frog agreed to carry the scorpion across the river. Mid river, the frog felt a sting, and then asked the scorpion: “Why did you sting me, we’re both going to die!” The scorpion replied: “It’s in my nature!”

Thus, the best fit is a natural fit, a natural fit is what’s right, a natural group! We cannot overcome our nature. We must live in accord with our nature or character.

What makes a “natural group”!

A natural group is a group that has commitment to shared values and alignment on a shared cause.

A person, through commitment and alignment, may have the merit to be a member of  the group. A person, through commitment and alignment, who can contribute value to advancing the group towards its cause has the merit to be a member of the group (based on their contributions). [See merit, meritmeritorious, meritocracy, meritocracy]

Most organizations don’t thrive, why? Because they are composed of unnatural groups! Groups who don’t have commitment to shared values and alignment on a shared cause!

Most leaders are challenged, why? Because they try to define or change the values or cause of the groups within their organization, and thus force the groups to become unnatural groups!

We don’t commonly use the word “unnatural” but we commonly use the word “dysfunctional“…

What is Leadership all about!

As Peter Drucker once said: “Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its limitations.”

Values define our standard and cause defines our vision. Culture emerges from values. Strategy advances a cause. Leadership is merely about synchronizing culture and strategy, naturally, using triads!

What is Tribal Leadership all about!

Tribal Leadership is about leveraging groups and building organizations, leveraging natural groups and building thriving organizations.

What is a Tribal Leader!

To cultivate natural groups and thriving organizations, Tribal Leaders synchronize culture and strategy and develop other leaders, naturally, using triads!

Synchronizing culture and strategy includes weaving people into and weaving people out of the tribe based on merit.

Thus…

As Peter Drucker once said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Strategy is constrained by culture, thus, we must upgrade our culture or modify your strategy based on the limitations of our culture!

Additionally, when working with people in any culture, we should always remember: “Give everyone a choice, and then work with the living; don’t try to raise the dead.”

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