Inherent to steward leadership is caring for a trust (in this case, an organization) so that others might care for it in the future. This concept inspires the phrase; This is for our grandchildren's grandchildren that Kristin Evenson and I repeat so often in the Third Turn Podcast.
For an organization to exist in the future, with others caring for it in their turn, the organization has to be repristinated at least every generation (repristinization is the act of making something pristine again). We all hear the word transformation a lot, but repristinization conveys the idea of keeping an initial mission for an organization alive and fresh however much must be transformed. The word even suggests that keeping something the same means that something must keep changing. An illustration might be re-building a bathroom wall after a leak--making it look as it did before.
To lead an organization through a repristinization process, especially after a long and previously successful effort, the Maestro-level leader has to keep learning because the skills to do so keep changing and the standards for success keep rising. If leaders refuse to learn, the organization stops growing with them. If someone refuses to remodel that leaky bathroom, hoping no one will notice and pretending everything is as it has always been, the issue grows and complexifies.
The lesson here is that to keep something the same, we must keep upgrading. And if we want to improve and expand something, we have to upgrade it.
Lifelong learning is essential either way.
Tags:process design, Process Consultation, Process consultation and design, untying organizational knots, organizational development consulting, repristinization, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, small business development, The Third Turn, The Third Turn Podcast, Kristin Evenson
October 6, 2022