The Seeker

The seekerTo seek: search for, attempt to find something.

Seeker: as in ‘a tenacious seeker of the truth’ or ‘a tireless seeker of justice’

Seeking is very different to conventional management.

Conventional Management

Conventional management constantly defines up front the ‘what’ and the ‘how’…and then toils to achieve the espoused ‘strategy/ plan/ target operating model…blah, blah, blah’ through pulling levers of (supposed) control.

It is about:

  • being (seen to be) certain of yourself;
  • having ‘an opinion’ and knowing ‘the answer’;
  • retaining confidence (at least outwardly); and
  • forcing through the barriers in your way (rather than contemplating why they are there).

Their drive is to be able to assert (whether through fear or power…or a combination of both) that they have conquered what they defined up front….and then repeat the (single-feedback) loop….and on and on.


A seeker has a deep-rooted resolve, but doesn’t know where they will be going – and is okay with this. Their journey will be ever changing (dynamic). Note the use of the words tenacious and tireless in the definitions above.

Their drive is to explore what is before them, whilst always seeking their ‘true north’. This will lead them on many collaborative adventures, much learning and growth and a constantly regenerating desire. They will continually question, and change, themselves (double-loop).

A purpose-seeking organisation

I love this phrase. For me, it says so much.

Breaking it down into its parts:

  • Purpose: a clear, meaningful, ongoing endeavour – for the fundamental reason why our system should exist (which will never be ‘to make money’);

  • Seeking: as above. Not a destination, but an ongoing quest;

  • Organisation: everyone, joined together. About how we all interact, not how we act taken separately.

A purpose-seeking organisation can do amazing things (that others wouldn’t dare put into a plan) and can sustain and reinvent itself. It will possess that most treasured of desirable system properties – self-organisation.

So what?

There is a gulf between conventional and purpose-seeking organisations…and much to do to bridge the gap.

But the first step is for those ‘in positions of power’ to see the gap. You can then question why it exists. If you rush into changing something before you have properly seen and questioned, then you will remain stuck in the same conventional loop.

Are you a seeker?


This short post comes about from re-reading my notes on ‘Organisational Learning’ (Chris Argyris).

I recognise that it might be a bit philosophical (bullshit?) for some. I have a couple of follow-up posts in mind that are perhaps a bit more practical 🙂

6 thoughts on “The Seeker

  1. Dear Squire

    Please continue to
    aspire –
    in your desire
    seeking for beauty

    Go the Crusaders
    in their search for the title!
    Reuben Thorne, Rueben . . .

    I guess you will be
    there on the night
    seeking the
    of the win!


    • Hi Ross.

      Hope all good with you.

      I’d love to go to the game but it’s looking like I’ll be watching it on the telly…which makes for a different (but not necessarily inferior) experience.

      I went to the 3rd Lions test and, whilst the atmosphere was amazing, it was really hard to see what was happening. Had to watch it on telly when I get home to Christchurch.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Steve

    Life is interesting, bit of stuckedness to get over!
    Though reading helps
    First test Ryan Crotty
    2nd and 3rd no Crotty
    Last Saturday against the Highlanders his “seeking”, well that is my observation.
    This Saturday against the Chiefs will confirm the “Razor” gap closure insight!
    Looking forward to the first contact! Retallick (ex Canterbury) versus Whitelock, who could ask for more?

    For the other’s reading this comment, please understand that interpreting the above requires knowledge of the underlying discourse I have used and have assumed that Steve shares.

    Discourse or standpoints are an interesting aspect of organisational politics that often cloud the sharing of the quest!

    Discounting the other has interesting outcomes. Please note that by my acknowledging that I have assumed much then I tender my apologies if you find that this comment generates some sense of angst.

    Enjoy the viewing Steve, I will be watching it on TV at the Jolly Punter, my local community melting pot of viewing!

    May the final be local

    Go well

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s worth watching this TED Talk from Julia Galef, if you’ve not seen it.

    Instead of ‘seeker’, she uses the term ‘scout’:

    “The scout’s job is not to attack or defend. The scout’s job is to understand. The scout is the one going out, mapping the terrain, identifying potential obstacles. And the scout may hope to learn that, say, there’s a bridge in a convenient location across a river. But above all, the scout wants to know what’s really there, as accurately as possible.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you Charles for the link to Julia Galef.

    Julia ends up with the importance of how one feels. The following book relates to her observation about the importance of feeling

    The above book can be difficult for some to read as it has layers.

    Newburg worked with James Clawson who also utilises the resonance framework. Here is a clip of Jim describing his approach to tuition

    For me
    The soldier mindset relates to the dominance of the imaginary or idealism or epistemology takes precedence
    The scout mindset relates to the dominance of the real or phenomenology or ontology takes precedence

    The following short article is a recommended first read to precede a journey into dialectical reasoning

    Click to access 03-Jean-Paul_Sartre-Intentionality.pdf

    Dialectical reasoning … hmm! Now that is another story for another night!


  5. “conventional loop” Yes, this is endless reinventing and hopping onto the latest fad – one replacing the other in quick succession. That is not seeking, it’s hitting at flies.


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