Learning to understand and address the energetic forces impacting a situation is a valuable skill and one desperately needed if we strive to develop new solutions to old problems. Projects are successful when the participants are committed to finding a common meaning, working together on goals, and making changes as needed. Only organizing that incorporates the energy of the participants and the entity will succeed. Over my career, I have worked with a wide range of clients to create organizational clarity. Assignments included defining vision and mission; strategic planning; organizing systems and staff responsibilities in departments of large corporations; developing procedures for small growing businesses; helping sole proprietors turn concept into action; and facilitating board retreats and fundraising programs for nonprofits. Most of us have attended “brainstorming” meetings in which ideas are generated and written on sheets of paper taped to the walls, later to be typed and distributed for action. We have played games, followed processes, adopted techniques, and been coached by great facilitators. We are competent people using good tools with the best of intentions. And too often, little or no improvement results. Why? One answer lies in understanding the individual and collective energetic forces in each situation. Many of us know that our attitudes, beliefs, and intentions are the most powerful forces at work in our relationships and environments. We understand that the energy created by our thought patterns affects those around us and drives the actions that create success and failure. As with everything, we start with a look within at our personal thoughts and behavior and how they influence interactions. We can each try to lift our awareness above the usual behaviors to see how our energy is affecting a situation. We have all heard advice about “working the room,” and the media has made many of us experts in the petty exchanges of personality. If we get stuck in pushing “to be right” or getting even or saving face, we are stuck in mud and cannot truly “see.” We seek to be in a position of positive power to promote understanding and solution. As you lift above interactions, try to see where your ego and limiting beliefs suck energy from the creative process. Which exchanges add to or subtract from open and critical discourse intended to solve a problem? What happens to the group dynamic when you change how you feel, when you ask questions and listen, and when you speak to each person with respect? This is a great start. ONE STEP AT A TIME: The book, Leadership and the New Science by Margaret Wheatley is the pioneering work of an organizational development expert who explains how organizations thrive working as natural systems.