Change Academy Day 3

The change goes on…

Excellent first session with David Robinson, founder of Community Links, on Unconditional Leadership. As usual, my selection of random quotes/notes/recollections & my own thoughts…

Very much emphasising the need to be grounded in reality, & always stay close to the reason why we are making the change/transition – interesting to note here that when you get into the meat of why, it always turns out to be not quite what you thought it was. Be wary of the tendency to systematise everything & stifle human creativity (process compliance?) Be aware of the value of useful failure – reminds me of Samuel Beckett (Worstward Ho) – “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”. A lot of resonance with the Appreciative Inquiry approach I was hearing about yesterday – definitely some mileage in this. Not ‘you/it is broken, this will fix it’ but ‘you’re great, let’s get even greater’. Key question in change – who is going to have to give stuff up? Who will lose power/control? Who will this be in our project? It could be you! Values more important than vision – well there’s a thing. Strategic planning can be the problem not the solution – similar to the tendency to systematise everything – becomes a substitute for purposeful activity. Quote from Mandela (?not sure?) ‘Vision without action is just daydreaming, action without vision is just passing time’. Japanese proverb: ‘Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare’.

Then on to further team discussion – (too) detailed about scope, how to communicate, interpreting/marketing/embedding the vision. What we want: a ‘system’ (in the holistic sense) that is: Useful, Usable & Used. Energy levels unsurprisingly low during the morning which I think is why things started to get bogged down.The afternoon session in the great outdoors was much better/more creative – some really good/innovative/’borrowed’ ideas about how we might communicate which I’m actually not going to share on this public blog as they might get reappropriated. In thinking about how we might do structured brainstorming without death by post-it notes, downloaded Cmap to see if this might provide an alternative.

& finally definitely a shame that Claire unavoidably had to leave early/last night – one thing that really has happened, through a lot of effort/energy, is that we do have a team which means  we have equal needs for all the members, and I think, whilst I’m sure we’ll get to where we want to be, this morning’s sessions will be lacking something.

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