Sarah Schacht

Sarah Schacht

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Meaning

December 16, 2009

Tim: “What is meaning?”

Me: “Meaning is a catalyst and a goal.”

I was sitting in Tim’s gorgeous, light-filled home, with Tim and Donald Summers, working through Shift Alliance’s process of business analysis—a process that helps companies and organizations establish meaning in their practices and products.  While it might sound a little “woo-woo,” Tim’s company, Shift Alliance, has really pioneered methodologies for helping organizations be conscientious about their values, the type of relationships they want to have, and what kind of results they want to get from their products and relationships.

It’s not an easy process—at one point, I found myself feeling a lot of resistance to this discovery phase.  I mean, here I was trying to imbibe Knowledge As Power’s work with meaning while I felt a simmering resentment towards a few people who had betrayed my trust and done harm to Knowledge As Power’s work or my reputation.  That resentment had led to plenty of sleepless nights and evenings spent pounding my gym’s boxing bag. It’d also led me to unconsciously pushing people away—I was afraid to be taken advantage of again.

Tim pulled me out of that state, saying, “What percentage of your year has been spent on people who do you harm?”

Me: “40%.”

Tim: “What would you consider success for Knowledge As Power?”

I answered my heartfelt wish for KAP—-a goal that I think really is possible for the organization in the next five years. It was a vision full of meaning, for myself and those KAP will serve.

Tim: “If you could have that for KAP, for yourself, but it meant accepting 10% of your work life would have people taking credit for your work, working ot undermine you, or defrauding you, would you accept that?”

Me: “I wouldn’t like it, I’d fight it, but yes, I’d accept it.”

Tim: “Great, so let’s find ways to make that 90% happen.”

With his help, I could move on and focus on what kind of organization Knowledge As Power is capable of being.  Meaning, I found out, is not only a catalyst and a goal, but also freedom from resentment.

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