Daniel Ofman, Kwaliteit en bezieling in organisaties

Ofman’s vision is not new, but still gives me a topical and inspiring view of people and organisations.

The most famous are the core quadrants that Ofman describes in detail. This is a powerful tool to expand the awareness we use to look at ourselves and others. It begins from the observation that each of us has many qualities, such as decisiveness, empathy, self-assurance, idealism. A 'set of qualities' makes us unique as a person. Others see and appreciate us for these characteristics. However, it can go wrong when we impose our qualities more forcefully under the influence of stress. At that moment, these qualities become pitfalls that often work against you and generate irritation, especially in others. The examples above then respectively shift to pushiness, sentiment, arrogance or woolliness. Gaining insight into each other’s qualities and pitfalls helps people and teams to understand each other better and to work better together.

In the same way, it is possible to map out the core qualities of entire organisations or even larger systems. The model also contains a demand for evolution, which makes it very different from any static model.

However, what appeals to me most in his book is his balanced spiritual approach to management. This was certainly much more of a taboo when the book was published in the 1990s than it is today. His search for balance between form and content and his attention for enthusiasm also inspired me to look at organisations in this way.