Transformation: fact or story?



When McDonalds realised it was a real estate company, that's when it truly got to transform.


Someone recently told me that they believe and trust in only facts, and not stories. It was interesting to me, and suggested a difficult relationship with the truth... at least from where I stand.


A common affliction. I suffer too, at some times more than others.


We must realise, and remind each other when we forget, that stories are precisely the building blocks from which each and every one of our worlds are constructed.


Like it or not.


That's the nature of consciousness.


Let's talk about transformational change and the stories that underpin it. For individuals AND for organisations.


So, change.


It is a nuanced unfolding. A nuanced process.


It's confusing for many of us, because predictability makes us feel safe. Change is unpredictable, by virtue of the fact that it hasn't happened yet (if you need a fact to pin this to while you digest this idea).


To understand change, you need to understand a couple of things...


Inside every entity, whether human or body corporate, is a "genius"... a purpose, a mission, a "true self", a plot line, a destiny, a vision.


The reason one came alive, or came into existence.


It's called 'vidyā' in Indian philosophy and refers to correct knowledge that is founded deep in the "soul"; it's an inner knowing, an irrefutable one at that.


In the spiritual realm, vidyā speaks to salvation (human).


In the practical realm, vidyā speaks to progress and prosperity (body corporate).


It has an emergent nature, and seeks to be revealed.


It's also essential to understand, that every entity (human or not) has a fatal flaw. That flaw undermines this inner aim, the vidyā. This flaw leads us away from the natural goal. It's an antagonist.


And the antagonist is becoming more and more problematic because we as a society are getting better and better at forgetting. We've collectively fallen into the River Lethe of the Underworld (I wrote about this myth of wisdom and forgetfulness in a previous article).


We stopped telling the age-old stories, and as a result we've forgotten our true nature.


We've forgotten that our personal meaning is created by way of revealing our genius, in ourselves, and as stewards for entities which do not possess human consciousness in their own right (all you governments out there, don't think you escape this idea...).


Until we remember, we will wrestle with our fatal flaws, unable to dissolve, or transcend them.


Because we are hooked on chasing profits and productivity instead of the aforementioned progress and prosperity, our salvation shall remain elusive.


And too our ability to build govern organisations in true and sustainable service of humanity, and planet.


I told you it was nuanced.


Want to transform? Then your commitment must be to remembering.


That goes for an organisation too. Why does it exist? Why does it REALLY exist? What is trying to be revealed about its true nature by way of change?


Like McDonalds did, Amazon might save itself and transform when it realises it's not really a retail business.


If it doesn't, it might not survive the impending storm like it did the dot com drama.


Who knows.


Not me.


But these stories of genius and transformation are thousands of years old and still true today as they continue to unfold, so I'm putting my faith in the stories.


Facts will help if you want to quantify the past. But if you want to truly change your future (or that of your company), leverage stories (...and make them great ones, of course!).


What do you think?


Am I drunk on myth and in need of a reality check... or is there some truth in the stories?