In my practice, I have a varied group of clients. They range in size and scope and are both in the public and private sector. Most of these organizations have a functioning Board of Directors (BOD) who is charged with the responsibility to make sure that the goals of the organization are met.
The BOD is comprised of people with varying terms and skill sets and with differing backgrounds of knowledge. What is interesting about this is that depending on the size and scope of the organization, it would be impossible for any single board member to understand all of the ways a medium to large company works. That is, if you or I were to join a board of the widget making company of a medium size, we would have a difficult time to truly understand how every widget is made and what the barriers to its making are. Further we would be challenged to understand the entire loop from design, to manufacture to marketing, sales R&D etc.
My question is … what is so hard about understanding that concept? Why is it that so many insist that they know everything about everything?
Be it in business, sport of life, I’m sure many of you have individuals who always know everything? Am I right? How annoying is it to have to explain to someone who has arrived at a conclusion that in fact the road they travelled to get there was the wrong one; that, if they had bothered to read the signs better they would have arrived at a better place. The frame of reference I use to explain this to people is by asking them to take me to the most unorganized room of their house. If I were to go there, what might I see?
I would see chaos, clutter, waste, etc. If I were to then begin to judge how the rest of that house looked I would likely conclude that this persons house is not well kept and by extension neither are they…after all if they can’t keep a room clean how could they possibly do so with their house?! The previous statement would be based on the assumption that I believe( through acquired knowledge) that having a tidy house is important and tidy equals well organized and well ordered both in body and mind. What if now I was to go out into that house and begin to look around and notice that in fact I was wrong, that the room I saw resembled nothing of the house? I would now have to form a different opinion of how this person runs their house wouldn’t I? I might discover that the one room is simply an extra, or that they have a house guest or something else I didn’t think of. That in fact they are well ordered in body and mind.
And so life is like this, we judge people, places and things based on the knowledge we have agreed is correct according to us and without looking at how one part of their life or organization is placed within the whole. We do this because it is easy, it makes sense to us, it causes order in our brain. To actually have to look at each individual item separately and without judgement requires an immense amount of patience and learning. A wise person looks at everything through many acquired fields of knowledge and understanding, not just one.