Thursday, April 12, 2007

Model Behavior After a Fashion

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

I planned to post tonight, simply to make two points, and then needed to say a bit more:

  • No, it's not worth posting vapidly
  • I had an insight this morning: Just as some people are good clothing models, I'm a good behavior model, that is, give me a behavior I need to model and I can do it if it aligns with my values, and do it really well typically.

I'm enjoying imagining a behavior fashion show that has top behavior models strutting the latest leadership development trends down a Shanghai or Bangalore catwalk.

This relates to an insight I had recently, where I realized I'm highly adaptable, but not necessarily highly flexible, for example, when conditions change at work, I'm highly adaptable, however, I'm not natively flexible, that is, I'm not natively yielding or pliable.

My colleague Linda Gerber always is thinking up terrific ideas for our programs and my knee-jerk reaction always is No. I do recognize this and so I say no in my head now mostly and listen, and almost always, her ideas make sense and I agree ultimately to adopt them.

How can someone who prizes whatever of my own creativity be less than welcoming of others'?

Because I like order. I revel in it.

A new idea feels disorderly. A new condition emerges at large and I adapt to it instantly, far more readily than I'd expect I would, but I suppose it's just that I accept it immediately as the new order.

What's your definition of order? If you don't need order by your definition, what takes its place?


Zdravko said...

there you are, doing your transparency thing again! :)

we all like order, our minds are wired for order, and when there is no order, we experience discomfort, and even inner pain. however, we differ in the way we conceptualize order.

with respect to our initial tendency to reject new ideas or change, especially when it comes to new ways of thinking about or doing things that we've done for a long time, i find the concept of a 'meme' to have a very strong descriptive and explanatory power. see

memes are selfish replicators which replicate in the mind, just like genes replicate in the biological body. as such, they instruct their hosts (us) to resist any other meme to be replicated in our minds. actually, the whole meme theory (which was really big in the late 70s and 80s is falling out of fashion these days, undeservingly so, in my opinion) has significant implications for education, because education is all about creating and replicating new memes in the minds of individuals.

Sarah Siegel said...

As I mentioned in a more recent posting, I met a doctoral student in Organization & Leadership at Teachers College, who's doing her dissertation on "Unlearning Homophobia." Talk about unseating a meme! Very ambitious, I think, and I cannot wait to read it!

Everyone's vision of what order means is indeed his or her own, it's true....I said in that same recent posting, if I remember correctly, that I follow "most rules." I was thinking of heterosexuality as a rule of our particular social order in the United States in 2007 -- a rule I do not follow. It is not me to be heterosexual, and so I feel that I cannot follow it and still live the often-joyous, rich life I do.