In our blog we talk about issues that affect organizations. However, those organizations are made up of people in families, and at this time of the year people enjoy family time but many suffer the repeated frustration, hard work and negative emotional undertow of the “festivities”. Does it have to be that way?
It doesn’t have to be that way
A recent article talks about the awful amount of work that the holidays impose on people and the suffering that can be caused by the “intense period of togetherness”. The article describes the dystopia that many experience just when they have their greatest expectations of being happy and at peace. (See ‘Christmas – surely a prank played on middle-aged women’)
The point is, it doesn’t have to be that way. But it requires the courage to change your habits and mindset.
An alternative celebration
Here is an example of what one family did. One year, for a series of reasons, the mother of a large, grown-up family knew she would be celebrating 25th December with just one sister and one daughter. The daughter thought that perhaps they should go to a hotel or buy in some fancy fare to enjoy at home. It would be quiet but it would still be festive. The mother came up with a very different solution. The three women would go to a nearby home for the elderly and help to feed the festive meal to the patients. The daughter was disappointed. It was not what she had in mind. However, they did as the mother had suggested. The daughter found herself feeding a blind lady who said “Thank you” after every mouthful. It was a humbling and thought provoking experience.
An abiding lesson: change your thinking
The mother achieved several things with this innovative solution. She helped out in situation where it was very difficult to find volunteers and she taught her daughter an abiding lesson: we don’t have to be trapped into our ways of thinking and doing things just because that is what is normal or expected. When we break out of the prison of habit, there really is no limit to what can be achieved.
And that is our wish for all our readers, their families and their organizations, that they have the courage to see beyond the habitual behaviours and thinking that keep them trapped in underperformance, conflict and frustration. When they are ready to do that, there are plenty of ways to make it happen. Watch this space, enjoy the holidays, and see you in the New Year.
About the Author
Angela Montgomery Ph.D. is Partner and Co-founder of Intelligent Management, founded by Dr. Domenico Lepore. Angela’s new business novel+ website The Human Constraint looks at how Deming and the Theory of Constraints can create the organization of the future, based on collaboration, network and social innovation.