Thursday, October 14, 2010

Propaganda by the deed

I mention beauty because we should be thinking about what our organizations look like. We should be thinking about what our practices look like. Are they appealing? To whom do they appeal? Do they even appeal to us personally?

If we aren't in love with what we do, we can't expect anybody else to fall in love either. This is why there is so much cynicism within employer organizations. If the work we undertake in response feels half as lifeless, we'll never sustain a membership, and we'll certainly never take it to the next level; people will float in and then drift away. We compete against a consumer-driven culture that demands a lot less and entertains a lot more. For many Americans, "doing nothing" is exactly what we'd prefer after a long day at work.

Our best hope is to build organizations so stunningly beautiful that people want to be a part of them, because there is no alternative. There is no alternative to being part of the struggle to affirm human preferences at their core. "Doing nothing" resolves nothing, even if it feels good. We have to demonstrate that this true, and offer an appealing alternative.

Women contribute to the beauty of our organizations, especially when they are welcomed and supported in becoming themselves. This is the alternative we have to pose to the world, which has yet to get on board. If women look at our organizations and see nothing appealing about them, we lose. So there is a necessity for men to pay close attention to what they are communicating to women, and to work towards the kind of organization that women can identify as their own.

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