I'm a huge Apple technology fan. Always have been. It was recently revealed that co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs had a liver transplant. He has a rare form of pancreatic cancer and has been in ill health for some time. Given such news, what do you do if you are Apple? What does any organization do that finds its leadership in intense transition? What can Steve do?
The following are my ruminations on that question:
• In times of disorientation, one must let go of what's going away. This anticipates a completely new orientation, and takes personal discipline and mental fortitude.
• To let go of past certainties one must grieve the passing of any settled orientation that was once experienced. This requires lament in community; in other words, a safe place to be vulnerable.
• A new orientation cultivates a "seeding" of vision and inspiration that germinates well beyond the initial change agent. It is the living memory of an organization that enables it to move forward in perpetual motion.
Transition is a marginal space characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. Letting go, grieving, and remembering are essential tasks for enacting a new way of being for the future.