When I worked as an Addiction Counsellor within the UK Prison Estate, I used to use a corporate metaphor to try and help the client group within my rehab orientate to the terminal nature of their malady …. to help them understand the nature of the disease of Addiction.
I would describe them as organic companies and the talk would go something like this as I stood before some 25 to 30 Category C prisoners in a prison treatment room:
I would like you to try and imagine that you are all individual companies. That your bodies are the factories and offices of complicated and interconnected businesses described by the word ‘constitution’ and that your board of Directors, your Executive function resides as you might imagine in your head.
Well, I have some bad news – as ‘going concerns’, you are all in very serious distress …. the Articles of Constitution (your bodily constitution actually) are disintegrating, the Board of Directors have collapsed into a sub-cultural linguistic breakdown, inappropriate demands are being made upon the body of the company and the workers are being blamed for all of the undertaking’s collapse in performance.
No messages from the company and the workforce are being allowed or received by the Executive function and your CEO is a psychopath, In short …. you’re dead in the water, stuck, bankrupt and unless your Executive function can go through a cathartic recovery process to reconnect it to the body of the company that it is given responsibility over …. then there is no hope for your future survival.
Well, the men used to see the analogy very clearly and it worked well as an assessment and orientation technique to break down denials and provide some urgency to the recovery dynamic.
I came away from working in the UK Prison Estate in 2008. Imagine my concern then as I saw the biggest bank in the world crash. The symptoms of the relationship of the Board of Directors became exposed as in exactly the same state as the imaginary disease models that I had used to help criminals orientate to a mortal illness!!
Stuck-addiction© may be seen to account for the global financial crash in 2008, global religious terrorism, corporate dysfunction around brand manipulations in recent vehicle emissions and misquoted financial performance scandals, NHS management dysfunction and junior doctors’ strikes, Brexit lies and exaggerations during the recent UK referendum, the US and Russian stand off in the Middle East – and the list can go on and on …. it is a disease of the executive function in both individual and systemic constitutions. It is a disease that collapses leadership.
Addiction itself is a necessary and healthy component of ordinary problem solving. This simple though startling statement for some, is shown clearly on the flow chart that opens the welcome page to this website.
The word ‘addiction’ simply means the ability to apply oneself in a single-minded manner to a chosen predictive problem solving pathway with willpower, during which time usual behaviour can become temporarily arrested. Upon the resolution of the problem, usual behaviour patterns are reinstituted.
When the problem solving pathway breaks and the process is diseased, normal behaviour is never reinstituted. The pathway breaks at the addiction point, hence addiction becomes synonymous with illness. I have introduced the term stuck-addiction© to better describe this now global malady.
The correlations between individual illness and systemic illness can now be shown to be exact. The era-change that is playing out across the globe is the single defining causality for the turbulence affecting all cultures. During era change, the ruling authority sticks in the old era’s paradigms until the new era clarifies. Galileo was resisted when he brought his message of round Earth going around the Sun, as was John Snow when he said that little things in water were killing people at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The resistance to the message of a disease infecting the executive function of the global systems is equally very hard for those executive functions to accept and comprehend.
The instances of this disease are now to be seen in the collapse of Carillion, the ongoing unrest in the NHS, the Prison Estate, the University system, the collapsing retail sector with the demise of House of Fraser and Mothercare to name but two.
With nothing more than access to a white-board and a few coloured pens, I can deliver a presentation to the Executive function of any organisation that can make this era-change and its attending illness clear. When the orthodox collapses, it first goes unorthodox to try to recalibrate. History shows that only the incoming and always resisted paradox can move the collapsing orthodoxy into a new and innovative paradigm.
What have you got to lose? A couple of hours could begin to dramatically alter your ability to navigate through the absurdities that are afflicting all aspects of leadership in the increasingly difficult trading conditions that are now manifesting globally. I am a Paradox Consultant.
Charges for this service are negotiable but are always guided by the fact to value dynamic (FTV) of the particular leadership team that is being reconnected.