For many years now I have been working with Open Space Technology (OST) as one of the most powerful meeting methods I know to create an environment where people address and ways to deal with often complex and contentious issues. Using OST consistently provides the path to new ways of dealing with what previously looked like intractable issues. During OST meetings group wisdom consistently appears as people build on awareness and understanding which in turn inspires the will to (collective)engagement and action. Paradoxically one of the reasons for this is because OST meetings train people in acceptance of what is present. read more
“Thank you for helping to remind me that the people I work with are human beings.”When you do you can resolve an ongoing conflict by recognizing the full humanity of each person.Read More
Have you ever noticed that when when you’re not feeling well nothing goes right? Maybe it’s physical, a flu or dealing with the flair up of a chronic condition. Maybe it’s emotional, you had a disagreement with a friend and it is wearing on you. In these moments almost everything is just one thing too much? Even needing to make an extra phone call or taking an extra trip to the store can be complicated.
When you feel healthy and happy these same ‘problems’ can even be fun challenges, not to mention how much better able you are to deal with the big stuff that comes your way. Let’s face it, when you are healthy, in body, mind, spirit and emotions, life is easier and you’re better able to deal with whatever life brings you. Given this knowledge it only makes sense that we invest our time and energy in our own health.
So what would happen if we applied this same idea to organisations?Read More
In 2009 I was at a Summer Leadership Intensive from the Genuine Contact™ Program. The facilitator, Birgitt Williams, invited the group to reflect on this question: “How much structure do you (personally) need in order to feel free?” I have carried this question with me ever since. It informs my work facilitating emergent, participative and co-creative organisational development.
At that time, we were staying at conference centre near a lake deep in the German countryside. Along with the human participants, many animals seemed to also be “participating” in the learning. This particular day, Birgitt had seen a slug on the path. She mentioned that when se saw it — totally unprotected, it’s soft flesh fully exposed — making its way across to the grass she wondered if that sort of open structure would be comfortable enough for her to go out and explore the world. Would she feel free or would it paralyse her.Read More
All around there is a powerful message that we need to change — change our consumer habits, change the way we work, change how we eat, how we organize, CHANGE. Combined with this CHANGE is that we need to do so NOW. There is a powerful credo that change and innovation is key to our organisations, our lives, our planet.
As a consultant and facilitator working with social innovation and dedicating my life to transformation, I can’t say that I disagree with this desire to see organizations, people, and our earth be healthy and balanced. I also long for a more peaceful, sustainable world operating in harmony both among people and with the rest of nature. It’s not only the way I earn my living, it’s something that arises from a deep sense of passion within me.
And yet….bombarded with all of these messages every day, I notice that something disturbs me. Increasingly I feel the shrill tone that whispers of desperation and judgement, that we are somehow ourselves insufficient, that we are not enough.Read More