The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our
own paths through life. Water begins its residence on earth as it falls
from the sky or melts from ice and streams down a mountain into a
tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin
our lives on earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its
banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern
our identity. We are born in a specific time and place, within a
specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these
parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and
obstacles along the way just as a river flows.
Here are some links to further describe in detail some of the models, concepts and thought leaders I presented. Please feel free to post any comments as to what resonates with your work, practice and clients.
"Simply stated, the
person who can most clearly see the next step is responsible for
communicating this step and facilitating or leading the group through
it. In an age as complex as ours, it's unreasonable to imagine that any
one person has all of the questions and all of the answers. To invest
individuals with such responsibility creates unnecessary burdens and
pressure and debilitates the creative edge of other members of the team.
kind of leadership always resides within Group Genius. It is a kind of
leadership that allows space to play, iterate, design and learn the art
of flow as team. One of the MG Taylor Axioms speaks to this:
Everyone in this room has the answer. The purpose of this intense
experience is to stimulate one, several, or all of us to extract and
remember what we already know."
This is my favorite creative process model. It was introduced to me by Gail Taylor of MG Taylor and Tomorrow Makers. It is a one of many models from the MG Taylor modeling language. This is one of the oldest of the MG Taylor Models, developed in
1979 by Matt Taylor and Richard Goring as part of an unpublished book entitled
Designing Creative Futures.
One of my favorite authors is Margaret Wheatley. She writes about self organization, emergence, systems thinking and leadership. Her new book, Turning to One Another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the future, demonstrates the importance of coming to deeply understand and listen to one another if we are to not only survive, but to thrive as our world sits at a turning point in human history.
In climates of uncertainty and fear, the forces at work in our communities and organizations can pull us backwards, away from our own resilience and creativity. These forces show up as a return to command-and-control leadership, a misguided insistence on measurement, a loss of time to think and reflect, and a breakdown of public discourse.
Turning to One Another provides a hopeful tool for anyone concerned about our world and the directions it is heading-it provides a framework for practice: for listening to and conversing with others. The method is profoundly simple, which is what makes it simply profound.
The book will help you begin conversations about things that are important to you. Wheatley begins by describing several conditions that support good conversation, including simplicity, personal courage, real listening, diversity, and several others. Ten short essays will act as “Conversation Starters,” leading people into conversations about their deepest beliefs, fears, and hopes.
Do I feel a vocation to be fully human?
What is my faith in the future?
What do I believe about others?
What am I willing to notice in my world?
When have I experienced good listening?
Am I willing to reclaim time to think?
What is the relationship I want with the Earth?
What is my unique contribution to the whole?
When have I experienced working for the common good?
When do I experience sacred?
Emerging, and understanding the patterns of emergence and the zone of emergence, is the sixth leadership skill. This is what happens when we come together as a system and see patterns and interconnections. This is about feedback and self-organization and adaptive learning.
It's important, as leaders, to create a time and place for your team, for your people, and for your organization, where they might have a zone of emergence. Where do you have a place for your patterns to unfold, to make connections, to connect the dots? This is really the place for innovation and creativity to occur. I think blogs are a particularly interesting zone of emergence. The whole blogging phenomenon is an online zone of emergence. In teams that still have the ability to sit together, there'll be somebody's cube wall or hallway where stuff will start to get posted—diagrams, drawing, comments, reports and pictures—and you're able to visually map what it is that you're trying to figure out, be it a new market, a new industry, a new product introduction, or a new service.
These zones of emergence happen in lots of different systems, from biology to geography to societies, all the time. As leaders, I’d encourage you to be really aware of emergence. Again, how do you create a zone of emergence for your team?