Friday, February 16, 2007

A little hope, pass it around

I get excited by new ideas. Never fails. I'm on the mailing list for HBR. That would be Harvard Business Review. And they've just compiled their list of bright ideas for 2007.

Skimming the list, the word "hope" leaped out at me. It's number five on a list of 20. The authors, Harry Hutson and Barbara Perry, argue that hope is a key element in surviving tough situations: prison camps, war, accidents. How about old media/new media upheavals?

My guess is the authors would say yes:
Our contribution has been to outline the elements of hope—possibility, agency, worth, openness, and connection—in a way that guides efforts to nurture it in the workplace.

The first two are central to the definition of hope: People must see that change is possible and how they can engage personally in that change. The remaining elements have to do with how hope is cultivated in organizations: Hopeful work groups are most often composed of individuals whose worth to the organization has been affirmed, who perceive an openness on the part of management, and who enjoy an authentic sense of connection with their colleagues and with the organization’s mission. Even so briefly described, these elements suggest why hope can be an energetic force for positive change to a degree that, say, optimism alone could never be.

1 comment:

Peter said...

And linked with hope, there is also faith. Faith to me was synonymous with bullshit for years. Then it struck me that I'd seen it in action at our own little ADN in the form of Kay Fanning's unflagging struggle to keep the paper alive.

Much of her strength lay in her religious faith. Without it, I have no doubt the ADN would have foundered. The situation there in the mid-seventies was textbook hopeless.

So I have moved faith from the "Bullshit" category into the "necessary but not sufficient" category. Along with luck, hope, courage, smarts, and sometimes a flashlight.

But faith in what? Start here: Our mission, our colleagues, our readers.

Pete D-S