Sensitivity - How is your Organisation networked into the world within and outside its boundaries?
Living Organisations have ‘thin skins‘ - in that they are aware that what happens outside is as relevant as what happen inside the organisations. They reject a silo mentality in favour of a networked awareness of inter-relationships with their inner and outer worlds. Where the Respiration aspect was about (gaseous)exchange - reaping and sowing - the Sensitivity characteristic is about being ‘tuned-in‘ to the world within and about.
From Metaphor to Explanation to Action
Both suppliers and customers, families and friends are seen as vital extensions of the Living Organisation‘s nervous system. Information from these sources can be as valuable to the organisation‘s health as information from our own members and research.
Living Organisations keep the senses alert - investing considerable energy in being connected with their supply chain and with their end-users. Manifestations of the value we set upon this may include solicitation of formal and informal feedback. Random acts of feedback (or feed-in), even when in the form of a complaint, are seized upon as an opportunity to learn and respond. And, as in a healthy nervous system, response times are fast, so also the Living Organisation‘s response-time to enquiries, questions and complaints is as fast as possible.
Members who are insulated in the interior of the organisation are given opportunities to go outside the organisation to observe and experience first hand the impact of their role on the well-being of the organisation and it‘s beneficiaries.
Marketing means business in a Living Organisation, so market trends are enthusiastically monitored to make sure every opportunity is pursued with passion. Sensitivity goes both ways though, and Living Organisations are not ashamed to broadcast their message loudly and clearly into the context in which they live, move and have their being. They recognise that creating markets is as valuable as being responsive to market trends.
Internal sensitivity is developed by all means possible. Living Organisations are attentive and responsive to the ‘internal dialogue‘ of their members - encouraging, stimulating and rewarding internal feed-in and feedback. The health of the internal nervous system is strengthened by building more and more connections between members and functions, and through the pursuit of richer understanding of all aspects of each member‘s field of endeavour.
Living Organisations recognise the potential for strength in diversity - realising that a solution to a presenting issue may just as readily lay outside the organisation. For this reason, Living Organisations are tapped ‘into‘ areas that may, at first glace, seem to have little relevance to their recognised field.