Joy – The Result of Unity/Resilience

I learned today that Beethoven wrote his immensely successful Ninth Symphony to convince people that the only way to Joy is through unity. In writing it, he became so absorbed and then personally infected that by the time he and, ultimately, his audience came to the “Ode to Joy”, they were consumed by it.

Beethoven read Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” poem and started setting it to music in 1793 when he was only 22.  He returned to his “Ode to Joy” themes numerous times over his lifetime but did not complete a piece of music on it until he was commissioned to write the Ninth Symphony in 1822. He wanted to introduce the human voice to this special symphony about Joy and became the first classical composer to include a chorus and soloists within a  symphony.

The Ninth Symphony intended to reflect Schiller’s themes about human conflict resolved by unity. The Symphony’s fourth, “Ode to Joy”, movement begins with outrage and tumult, then restates themes from the first three movements, but interrupted and rejected – signifying conflict. A new theme is introduced, is slowly accepted, and ends with a triumphant statement of the new theme. Human voices are introduced to sing the new theme, “O friends, not these tones. Instead, let us sing more pleasing and joyful ones.” Beethoven’s objective was to display two concepts: the universal brotherhood of man through joy, and love of the heavenly father.

Without knowing the Beethoven story behind the Ninth Symphony, Joy is also how I ended my recent book about the concepts and strategies for sustainably achieving organization change, The DNA of the Resilient Organization When I began writing the final chapter, I recalled that when organizations achieved the higher levels of unity that lead to greater Resilience, they also reached high levels of organizational Joy. I realized that unity and joy are linked. That is the surprise and wonderful result of working towards unity/resilience!

“By now, you should understand that Resilience = Unity . . . And that true unity leads to joy. The greater the unity, the greater the resilience. . .

“Unity, a collective heartbeat, is achieved with organizational wisdom and strength. The greater the collective Wisdom and Strength, the more likely the entity is to achieve a collective heartbeat, as . . . winning teams . . . all demonstrate.

“It is unity – with one another and with the Higher Power – that enables individuals to take risks, to innovate, to work zealously to accomplish the Mission and achieve the Vision. Unity enables resilience and, ultimately, the Joy of working for a greater good that sustains resilience.”

Excerpts from Chapter 10, The DNA of the Resilient Organization – How One Collective Heartbeat Creates Continuous Competitive Advantage.

 

 

 

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My New Course – A Unique Linking of Two Disciplines

My new adventure – teaching a graduate course at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management – starts August 26. Clients, friends and family keep asking “What is the course about?” Its base is my new book, The DNA of the Resilient Organization, expanded to teach the skills necessary to effectively accomplish the concepts.

Clients, readers of my book, and Willamette University professors have said that the Book is very important because it is the first to link two major disciplines: Organization Development and Risk Management. 

In other words, the book and the course teach how to unify an organization’s people while simultaneously building high quality infrastructure to support their work. The result is greater Resilience. Several experts have said the Book is the first true sequel to Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline, written in 1990. The DNA of the Resilient Organization moves several steps beyond – to organization Unity/Resilience.

Here is a description of the course, which is titled, “Enterprise Risk Reduction for Sustainable Growth”:

This course is the first to link Organization Development and Risk Management. Linking the two enables resilience. When the two disciplines are effectively linked, the result is sustainable change, leading to greater unity/resilience.

Contrary to popular perception, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) need not stifle innovation. Effective ERM, linked with strong Organization Development, can assure successful and sustainable accomplishment. Therefore, ERM enables organizational resilience, defined as strength in adversity and the ability to bounce back in difficult situations. Reducing the impact of risks enables organizations to make positive changes more effectively and react to challenges more efficiently, with less trauma to the organization.

This course focuses on ways to reduce enterprise risk and thereby build resilience and greater sustainability for all types and sizes of organizations. Several concepts utilized in the course are derived from basic auditing concepts. These steps are simple but iterative, linking and constant, displaying how every change initiative can be used to define and assess related risks and to develop solutions that improve and embed greater resilience.

Using experiences with hundreds of organizations (for-profit, not-for-profit and governmental) and from guest speakers, students will learn organizational issues, tools, and solutions that can affect change initiatives, for better or worse.

For more information, visit Sandra’s Faculty Page

Another New Role — University Professor!

Willamette UniversityI just signed a contract to begin teaching a course in the Fall that I developed at the request of Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. The course is called, “Enterprise Risk Reduction for Sustainable Growth”.

Teaching has been a lifelong dream but I never thought it would happen. As a result of my new Book, The DNA of the Resilient Organization, the dream has come true. The course mirrors and expands the Book’s theme of combining risk management and organization development tools and approaches to achieve resilience. That’s the only way to effectively build resilience in this rapid-paced, constantly changing world.

The DNA of the Resilient OrganizationThe 2nd year graduate course defines and describes Organizational Resilience – strength in adversity and the ability to bounce back in difficult situations. Resilience is the goal of all risk management tools, processes, systems and structures. Resilience also enables sustainable growth through the embedded ability to respond to opportunities while minimizing risk of failure.

The process to achieving greater resilience is simple but iterative and constant, using every change project to define and assess related risk and to develop solutions that improve and embed greater resilience. This process builds group wisdom and organizational strength; together they build unity. Greater unity = greater resilience.

I am especially excited because I will teach at Willamette University, at its Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2014 business school rankings named Willamette’s MBA program a “top business school.” The Willamette MBA is the only program listed in Oregon and one of only two in the Pacific Northwest.  The Willamette MBA program is also one of only two MBA programs in the world to achieve dual accreditation in both Business and Public Administration.

On almost every change project, the leader who hires me asks that I also coach a promising leader as part of the project. Now I can help many more people and organizations through teaching graduate students who will become strong, knowledgeable leaders!

 

© The Suran Group, 2015