The Mary Parker Follett Network

Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. - MPF

This is an excerpt from the September 3, 2018 Blog Post on CEGE Connection with insights from Irena Stropnik, Director, Branch Transformation, Western Canada, Scotiabank

https://blogs.dal.ca/cege/2018/09/03/irena-stropnik-happy-birthday-...

Dr. McLarney’s discussion of Mary Parker Follett’s theories on Group Membership has provided me with much food for thought, given our current realities. Many of Mary Parker Follett’s ideas ring true in today’s world. We are in desperate need of ‘quality men/group members’ and effective leaders to navigate the complexities and challenges of today’s world.

In reading through Dr. McLarney’s post, what struck me most was the importance of quality group members – not only willing to give their best but recognizing the importance that combined efforts build and add to the entire group. We must be committed to our own ideas but humble enough to listen to others and see how together, we can come up with an even better idea(s). This seems to contradict today’s individualistic society and norms. We are so busy looking out for ourselves and our own interests, that we fail to contribute to the larger society because we believe that, if the whole is better, we may somehow have less. Rather than judging others, seeing the potential in each other; to show empathy and endeavour to understand a situation from another person’s perspective.

Threaded throughout Dr. McLarney’s post was the notion of diversity (of thought, skill, effort, role) and inclusion (that we all must contribute to a better whole). The current business environment seems to understand this importance, but I believe, continues to struggle with how to really make his happen. How do we take into consideration everyone’s voice, their perspective, their thoughts? To me, the role of the leader is to orchestrate and facilitate this for teams. Whether it is a common vision or goal, or sometimes even stepping back to let others lead…we must consider how we want to function as a society and as business organizations.

Irena Stropnik, Director, Branch Transformation, Western Canada, Scotiabank

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