We live in an era of disruptions- of both the good and the bad kinds. The examples of the former include a startup company bringing a new idea to the market which revolutionizes an entire industry.
But sadly enough, the most common disruptions in our world are of the latter kind- disruption between the individual and the society, between the individual and his own self, or between your potential and the understanding that’s required to fully capitalize on that potential.
The blindspot in understanding yourself
These things and more are discussed in an detailed in the article titled ‘The Blind Spot: Uncovering the grammar of the social field’ by Otto Scharmer. Scharmer- a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) and the co-founder of the Global Wellbeing Lab has based his writing on the work of the German-American social scientist Kurt Lewin.
The society influences an individual’s behaviour as much as personal environment
One of Lewin’s significant theories is ‘field theory.’ In Lewin’s view, a field is comprised of all coexisting facts that are perceived as mutually interdependent.
According to him, the social environment in which an individual functions affects his psychological experiences and vice versa. For this reason, to understand someone’s behavior, you need to look at the entire psychological field- otherwise called the ‘lifespace’ in which they function.
Not giving mind to this crucial element would result in a blind spot in our understanding of an individual.
How the Individual is linked to the group
One interesting aspect that Scharmer mentions is that most often society is seen as external, the defining principles of which are formed independently of the individual.
But the fact remains that every individual who interacts with the society contributes to its definition. It is only when we miss or forget that important aspect that we fail to properly understand or ‘read’ an individual.
The curious thing is that this is applicable to an individual understanding himself as well.
Temenos Influence Maps
Influence Maps is a tool which Temenos developed to help people map out the different influencing factors- both social and personal- that define their thoughts and actions, thereby helping them articulate their own selves objectively, and then define their true personal vision.
A tool that is a confluence of social and psychological sciences as well as management theory, the Influence Maps incorporates multiple steps or labs- Personal Mythology, Personal Vision, Clean Slate and Compelling Shared Vision.
Individuals could create their own personal narratives to see how far they have come, to learn from their mistakes and progress with a clear mindset. They could then frame a personal vision based on their strong-points and ambition, also they could could get a clear idea of how this distinct vision fits in the overall framework of the organization in which they function.
To get a broader understanding of the Temenos Influence Maps, you could read this blog.