Community and Cooperation

Funny old world. As I do 'organisation-watching' on the latest episodes in the UK Labour Party leadership election I am struck by how dysfunctional not only they are but how all the UK political parties are. There seems to be no shared sense of community and collaboration even within each party.

This thought was triggered by a clearly partisan piece by Polly Toynbee in The Guardian. Toynbee has every right to support whoever she wants. The thought struck me that the piece was more a rail against (Jeremy Corbyn) than a piece in support of her favoured candidate. It didn't sound like the aim was to contribute to bringing the Labour community closer together or to foster collaboration. It's as if it's OK to criticise but not to say that there is good and bad in everything and how can we build on collective strengths.

Oops! I've used a word collective that could provoke a 'He's of the far left' jibe - which I am not! Yet ultimately having a sense of community and cooperation is vital for our complex society work to be able to together for the benefit of all. As I say, this applies to the whole of society and it also applies to the individual organisations within society.

Over twenty years ago the late W Edwards Deming said,

"Everyone must understand the danger and loss to the whole organisation from a team that seeks to become a selfish, independent, profit centre.”

This idea applies to all organisations whether they are businesses, not-for-profits, political parties or the national government. The question for all organisations and especially political parties, in what I regard as a highly dysfunctional political system, is "What is it you are doing to promote a spirit of community and cooperation in the UK?" Selfishness seems to be the rule and encouraged. So how about it? Are you promoting and contributing to a spirit of community and cooperation in your organisation?