In the previous post, I shared Decurion members’ reflections on their experience of Decurion.  Most were excerpts from longer notes.  In this post, I want to share one member’s full response to the questions, “Has Decurion had a meaningful impact on your life?” and “Have you flourished in some way because of your time at Decurion?”  She had been at Decurion for 7 years and was preparing to leave the company.

“I want to thank you for creating the opportunity for me to experience an entirely different way of acting and leading in business.  I have long held a desire to make a meaningful contribution in my life and to continually grow and develop.  At Decurion, I found a place that helped me move these desires from unformed aspirations to actionable standards for behavior in my everyday work.

Read the full article…

When I turned 50, several of my colleagues collected the reflections of current and former Decurion members and then presented the collection to me as a gift.  They asked two questions:  “Has Decurion had a meaningful impact on your life?” and “Have you flourished in some way because of Decurion?”  I assume that some people chose not to respond, and I recognize that the result is not a complete survey.  Nonetheless, those who wrote something about their experiences captured multiple perspectives of what it is like to be at Decurion.  I found myself informed and moved by their comments.  Here are some of their responses to the two questions, along with information about their tenure at Decurion:

“Working for Decurion has been challenging and exciting.  At times it has brought pain and joy.  Decurion has brought meaning into my life in ways that I did not imagine nor could have imagined before experiencing the journey of transformation with the company.  It has contributed to my development as an individual, a parent, and as a human being.”  [Decurion member for 30 years] Read the full article…

In the previous post, I listed “building learning communities” as one of the lines of development essential for success at Decurion.  In this post, I want to share our understanding of what the process of building such communities involves.

A characteristic of learning communities is their ability to recognize the “other” as legitimate, to embrace difference and diversity.  Too often, we regard diversity as a problem to be solved rather than an opportunity to be prized.  Unlike mobs or cults, healthy communities embrace differences as opportunities to falsify their assumptions of wholeness.  They convert their suspicion of the “other” to a recognition of their own incompleteness. Read the full article…

In the previous blog post, I discussed how we are building Decurion as the sort of company we want it to be through the practices in which we engage.  In the post before that, I set out our understanding of developmental growth, including the recognition that there are different lines of development (or what Howard Gardner, Daniel Goleman, and others have called multiple intelligences).  I noted that we take an Aristotelian approach, believing that acts or practices create habits or settled dispositions, the aggregation of which constitutes our character.  Some years ago, we tried to make explicit what lines of development are important for success at Decurion and what practices or habits spur progress in those lines.  Here is what we generated: Read the full article…

While theories are like maps that describe already existing territory, practices actually create new territory as one engages in them.

At Decurion, we are creating new territory through the interaction of our ideas, our commitments, and our practices.  Servant leadership, systems thinking, confronting the brutal facts, and spiraling the quadrants (to name just a few examples) are not only ideas but also practices in which we can directly engage.  We are continually doing our way into knowing.  And we have identified four levels of knowing.  The levels are:  understanding, practicing, internalizing, and building.  It is one thing to understand how a certain practice might enhance our effectiveness (level 1).  It is another to engage in the practice (level 2) until we have internalized it as a settled disposition (level 3).  And it is a significant step to see that disposition as object, not subject (as something we have rather than something we are) so that we can apply it or build systems based on it (level 4).

Read the full article…