Create Room For Good Things To Run Wild
“I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.” — GK Chesterton
While our man GK was speaking about Christianity, we think his sentiment applies to organizational development as well. Autonomy should not be without borders; unfettered freedom rarely results in anything meaningful.
A gingery guy named Paul once told me that "a river without borders is just a swamp." No matter how much motivation, creativity, energy you or you team has, without structure and guidance it won’t go anywhere with any kind of intention or purpose.
When all the wonderful organizational collateral (e.g. policies, culture codes, guidelines, brand books, decision trees, documentation, operating protocols, etc.) are built with the highest good in mind, they create the platform for people to produce their best work. They create for us a culture of discipline which in turn creates space for humans to do their most creative, matterful work.
John Coltrane’s deep knowledge of the conventions and vocabulary of the language of music allowed him to bend the conventions and rules to create a sound never before experienced in the jazz world, expressing his individuality in an amazingly creative way.
Albert Einstein’s profound understanding (and curiosity) of the material universe set the platform to create breakthroughs and theories that revolutionized our understanding of space and time.
Leonardo DaVinci’s disciplined study and experimentation of capturing light, texture, and form created the freedom to create a new style of painting more emotive and life-like than seen before.
The discipline of organization and structuring our time and resources give us a box to start coloring in; once we’ve learned the limits, language, and laws of a given box, we then expand our ability to color outside the lines.
It’s (almost) always better to start with a box.