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It’s A Truth not THE Truth


When CEO I often had to remind myself AND my teams of this so that we could find meaning in our respective individual ‘stories’ by looking at the (1) Objective Facts AND … (2) our Individual Subjective Worldviews, to then develop … (3) a new Shared Reality – call it a group or normative truth. 


This often involved hard, conflicting and combative conversations, but well worth it as the outcome provided a competitive edge – it’s amazing what can be achieved when (almost) everyone gets strategically AND emotionally aligned to a goal, or way of behaving.   And sometimes, we were able to accept that all 3 truths were equally valid (i.e. Complex Truth), and really deliver high performance outcomes.


For example, when my Finance team (who were ‘facts’ driven) was able to step into the more volatile and emotionally led world of my Client Servicing/Sales teams, our monthly financial reporting became smoother – this built significant trust with Head Office.  Together my two teams (Finance & Client) developed a shared plan (i.e. a Group Norm) for keeping Head Office at bay – this gave my teams and I much coveted FREEDOM! Freedom to lead ourselves versus being told what to do by Head Office.


If you want to explore the challenge of nurturing the 4 truths, I invite you to read the book Adaptive Action: Leveraging Uncertainty In Your Organization (Eoyang & Holladay, 2013).