In dynamic environments, how might we create the conditions that improve the quality of interactions in order to nurture collective sensemaking and collective action? What are the states of dynamic organizations as they evolve and change? Exploring collective mindfulness—defined “as the collective capability to discern discriminatory detail about emerging issues and to act swiftly in response to these details (Weick, Vogus & Sutcliffe) might provide some answers. This year, LILA turns its attention to understanding how to nourish the organization and the systems whose future we hope to shape. Systems which are first and foremost human ones. With this perspective, we take into account that a key to organizational change involves not only rethinking the shape of the organizational chart, or reimaging the spaces where we work, but also in tending to what makes us human: the personal, the aesthetic, the narrative, the emotional, and most crucially, the relational.
Conceptualizing organizations as social systems invites us to envision the human networks that exist within that system. When the interactions within the social systems are working well, the organization moves as a collective. However, when they are out of sync – blocked from interacting with each other, it can seem as though a dynamic organism has come to a dead halt.
Drawing on the fields of cognitive psychology, neurocognitive science, collective mind theory and organizational science we will explore questions such as what are the mechanisms that support collective mindfulness? How might we shape the social systems to create thriving ecologies? How might the macro and micro narratives come into conversation to further strategic paths? How can collective mindful organizing amplify the desired states? We will engage the theme through these three topics.