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Cheryl is a  Learning Doula--a person who supports others as they learn, unlearn and emerge into their wealth and possibilities. budding pioneer of the field of learning and development. She is an established personal accountability and self-help author and has formed her business around the principles of autonomy, authenticity, and the courageous questioning that she writes about. Her new book, The Last Evaluation (coming soon) visits these principles in the framework of genuine and seamless living and working.

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Failure To Thrive: Malnourishment at the Executive Level

 

Like water and sunlight, knowledge is an asset that nourishes minds, grows capacity, and fuels intention. Knowledge is a systemic cause of sure and effective action, fulfilled interests, and instrumental value.  Knowledge is the security that appreciates over time as it adapts and changes with the environment to ensure the continued health and survival of organization (relationship) and connection (systems).

 

Knowledge is the neuro-based asset that lives in minds. Knowledge creation is the process of distorting incoming information in order to make it make sense. Knowledge is information that makes sense to ME. It's personal and insidious and action-oriented.

 

When knowledge fails, action fails. 

 

Knowledge failure is “failure to thrive”…the absence of  appropriate action and sufficient growth due to “malnourishment”. Failure to thrive is failure at the level of accountability and can only be addressed  and resolved at that level. 

 

The level of accountability is the level of decision making.  Decision making is an executive function that all of life is capable of exercising. In hierarchical organizations decisions (and the power and control inherent in them) are relegated to those human assets that have the strategic view and creativity to make decisions with the greatest breadth, depth and impact. 

 

Unfortunately, many leaders have no idea what a decision is much less how to go about deciding. This is mainly due to their inability or unwillingness to use executive functioning, choosing instead to rely on moral, identity, and self-interest frames. "This is the way I'm supposed to do it", "This is the way we do it", and "This is the way I feel is best" are statements that rule the day at the executive level. Executives are essentially rearranging the seats on the Titanic and claiming they are making decisions. 

 

It's a widespread problem that can be remedied with awareness, learning, development and evaluation. We all have executive functioning potential. We all share decision-making power. We all are on the Titanic suffering from the consequences of mental malnourishment at the executive level.

 

Knowledge failure is an option...we can make a different decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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