What I am writing in this blog is not new. Many others have written on the subject. This is, however, my interpretation.
Working as a Symbergetic™ Organizational Therapist, treating the chronic problems commonly found in organizations, I often come across a problem I call “deadwood.” These are people who no longer provide any functional role within the company. They use up energy and resources, get paid, and some even have people whom they should manage, but they do not contribute to the system they pertain to, and like cancer, they spread.
A telltale sign of deadwood might be their reply to being asked, “How are you doing?” Inevitably, their answer will be, “No problems, everything's fine.“
Think, for a moment, of cancer. For years you feel no pain. Nothing. All is fine. But the cancer is there, providing no value, taking energy and resources, and spreading.
What causes deadwood to emerge and accumulate in an organization, and apparently for cancer to develop and spread in our body?
I believe it is CHANGE.
The deadwood in an organization is a person who just cannot keep up with the rate of change the company is going through. They did not change, develop, or learn, and over time they have lost their knowledge and expertise. When asked to do something new, they say “no problem,” because they honestly do not know if it can or cannot be done. In twenty years they have not accumulated twenty years of experience. They have repeated one year of experience twenty times. They are obsolete. And as they stopped growing and changing, those reporting to them stopped changing too, and the phenomenon of deadwood has and will continue to spread.
The same applies I believe to the human body. The rate of change we are experiencing today is unprecedented in the history of mankind. Our bodies can only adapt to change at a certain speed. It took us thousands, if not millions of years to lose our tailbones and walk on two legs. Today, the rate of change is so rapid that the body cannot adapt, and some cells simply give up and become “deadwood” —cancer—and just like in a corporate environment or organization, they start to spread using energy but contributing nothing.
What is the treatment?
The usual answer is to fire the deadwood. Same treatment with cancer: radiate it, cut it out, get rid of it.
In my field of expertise, in treating organizational cancerous deadwood, I have learned that this is not necessarily the obligatory treatment.
If I succeed in creating an organizational environment in which the deadwood types feel safe to open up, learn and change, instead of continuously being criticized and attacked, they begin to contribute and become functional again.
Maybe the same applies to the human body. Feed the body what it is capable of handling. Reduce the rate of change you are subjecting your body to. Reduce it to the level it can handle and change. Stop eating food with chemicals and preservatives. Stop eating processed foods, the likes of which our bodies can not adapt to. Feed the body with what it was used to, to digest and draw fuel from, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, and healthy fats. Stop the threats to the body that change causes. Doing so, you might avoid, having some of your cells turn into cancerous deadwood. You might avoid having to endure the common therapy of attacking your own body with chemotherapy and radiation.