My correspondence with an accountant colleague today drifted to organisational development, and the work he does for small businesses, start-ups and not-for-profits. He described a talent he has for seeing gaps in their processes and practices which he knows might lead to failure – and how he offers support they can accept and put to good use.

He won’t mind me sharing with you that he begins with the end in sight – in other words, he needs to be clear on their end goals and objectives at the very outset. He works instinctively but with many years of solid experience behind him, in real organisations and I’m sure he has turned many around from the edge and towards more tranquil waters.

It struck me that this method is also taught and learned as coaching. As coaches, whether working in the field of professional or personal development, we must also begin with the end in sight – clear goals and objectives give us something to aim for and a direction in which to travel.

While the accountant’s outcome is a set of the right numbers in the right order showing that the client’s business is in good shape, leading to very positive financial and psychological benefits to the client, the outcomes for the coach and client are attitudinal, cognitive and behavioural. Both will find the functioning client may also enjoy emotional and even spiritual benefits, depending on how close the work of the organisation is to the client’s vocation.

So this begs the question for me : beneath the different languages, buzzwords, methodologies, pedagogies, rituals, hierarchies, practices, approaches, styles, modalities and other ways in which we divide and confuse ourselves, is there one systemic way of working which, like our common but different approaches, just works?

Is there a Q – method which underlies all of our branches and developments, as there may be one spirituality which underlies all religions? Or are we perhaps destined to express and enhance our unrestricted diversity, freedom, choice, and individuality in this field as in all others?

What a very human dilemma!

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