One of my favorite sayings is “you can’t push a river.” The image of people, their faces contorted in concentration, arms flailing, trying to push the river always makes me smile. The river has its own time, its own rhythm. It will be ready to move when it’s ready. The lesson is clear, things move with their own timeline, it works better to learn to be attentive to the moment and learn to harmonize your actions to that natural timing. read more
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
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