Tuesday, November 13, 2007
There's a sort of magic to creative collaboration; yet, there aren't many words to express what happens when a group of people get together and there is "click." Synergy? Flow? The vocabulary palette is limited.
Today, Ron Martoia, was in our offices to talk about facilitating change--specifically with groups of people. Many of his concepts came from Dr. Otto Scharmer's book Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges. I participated via speaker phone from the comfort of my bedroom since I STILL have the flu--ack--but as I listened I imagined I could hear that magic/synergy/flow working throughout our team as the big thoughts swam around in the ether.
Scharmer's ideas filtered through Ron's personal journey painted a picture for me of open doors and hands reaching outward. Ron described the current methodology of facilitating change through strategizing, developing a process, working the process, then reaching the summit. But, what if that linear process only achieves limited results? What if the reasons the discussion starts in the first place is because there is an awareness of entropy and people feel the need for change?
Ron dared to label the magic I struggled to describe in the first part of this post, Imago Dei--the Latin phrase for Image of God. It is a concept outlined in the Book of Genesis when it describes God creating man in His own image. It is the idea of a divine spark that exists in humankind. It exists in the Hindi term namaste--a greeting which translates as an acknowledgement of the divine in the other person. Literally, "The light in me bows to the light in you."
If we are to reject the linear, "1) make a plan, 2) work the plan, 3)if it doesn't work go back to step one," then what would facilitating change look like? Would it be exponential and transformative rather than linear and incremental? Would it start to look more like inspiration than dictation? Would it tap into that click/synergy/flow?
Inspiration isn't something you can bottle, market and sell. In fact, you can't control this connection of the "divine spark" between people at all. The best you can hope for is to try to become the type of person who can bring this out in others and create structures and environments in which it can thrive--which is the discussion Ron facilitated.
I love it that I work in a place that is interested in unleashing the spark of what is possible--not only in projects but in people...in being transformative over simply being content to be collaborative. Perhaps my favorite part of the conversation was in Craig's closing remarks. "I'm not sure if this is possible, but I'm willing to go down trying."