Why It Matters

My intention in writing this material has been to offer ways we can work together that promote the best instincts within and among us: We are naturally curious and creative beings, inspired by beauty and connected through caring, compassion, and respect. We have constructed organizations that often tend to stymie such instincts, built out of a narrative of Fear that suggests we must control others in order to protect those things that are most important to us… whether that is status, power, economic opportunity that we “deserve,” or actually protecting our lives, this Fear is the dominant force behind the absurd levels of security built into our social, political, and economic cultures. We cannot eliminate Fear, nor should we ignore it: Indeed, protection is a core instinct for survival and it is important to our ultimate success. But to be controlled by it, rather than to channel it constructively in service of higher aspirations, is a way of thinking that must be left behind in many of our institutions. And in business and the world of work, it is now a critical juncture where the imperative can have significant ramifications for other segments of our lives. The workplace I seek is one where we use our best intentions to organize ourselves to work collaboratively, respecting independence and personal priorities while aligning our resources towards a renewed understanding of common good. This workplace facilitates meaningful communication across departments and projects, as well as up and down necessary hierarchies (though far fewer are necessary than are currently perceived). This workplace is nimble, creative, and ultimately productive with innovations emerging in ways that dwarf our current processes. There are errors, to be sure, but there is also a cultural attitude that welcomes such missteps as opportunities to learn, improve, grow, and ultimately succeed in service to our mission, consistent with our values. In short, everything is organized to notice What Matters, and our energies are devoted to making those things happen.

Published by Harry Webne-Behrman

I am a facilitator, mediator, educator, and consultant specializing in addressing complex challenges and disputes within organizations. I bring over 40 years experience to this work and offer two recent books, What Matters at Work (2020) and What Matters in This Moment (2021) to these efforts.

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