Everyone has a self-image, but how does a self-image get built? And what does your self-image have to do with who you are, and how you react in strange or unusual situations?
Your self-image, or your idea of who you are, is a package you put together from how others have seen and treated you, and from your conclusions as you compare yourself to others. Primitive people built homes from available materials – blocks of ice, animal skins, adobe, and logs. In this same way, when you were a child, you built your self-image from what was available.
Now, your essential nature, the “real you” that exists apart from your behaviour, your opinions, your habits, etc., is really quite wonderful because it is a storehouse of energy and potential that can do and be great things.
This same story applies to teams, departments, and entire organisations. In their beginnings, organisations defined themselves by the situation they were in and the lessons learned from interactions with the rest of the world. As time wears on, those definitions were tweaked when necessary, or didn’t change at all because of the core beliefs and values of the organisation. These same beliefs and values may be limiting the potential of the organisation to change and grow.