“You know learning this with you is like I am down the pub talking with a mate.”
Unwittingly this participant had named the next stage of my work. I am seeking the ways in which the methods, models and mindset of participation can fully integrate into mainstream thinking and practice … just become normal. If you want to read more about this journey check out my blog on "let go of the shore and enter the mainstream".
I am finding the mainstreaming of my work requires a normalization of everything that I do. It is like the whole field of my work has relaxed, become less dramatic and infinitely more approachable and applicable. This is to do with a re-working of language, a re-design of how I deliver the work, and most fundamentally, a shift in my inner relationship to what I do for a living. Some of the recurring questions that I am encountering in my change leadership are:
- How can participation as a way to navigate change feel normal and common sense?
- How can I embed change across large systems without doing lots of in depth trainings?
- How is my leadership changing so I can bring the work more accessibly?
I would love to hear any of your thoughts and insight. Please comment, email me or come along to one of the AoH Beyond to the Basics events in Europe and Ontario where this type of conversation is kicking around all the time. Here we go then, the first blog on getting to normal ...
How can participation as a way to navigate change feel normal and common sense?
This is a shift for me. One of my signature poems I wrote over 10 years ago is called “Time to Awaken” for goodness sake!
The whole pattern of being habituated toward epiphany and transformative moments runs contrary to the integration of change leadership. It builds greater dependence on the charisma of the leader (change guru / master host etc) and undermines our ability to just go for it together and learn. I find that the more precious it becomes, the less useful it is for the transformation of our dominant systems of problem solving, organizing and governance.
The contexts we are all operating in are too fast moving, information saturated, diverse and uncertain for one person to have a good crack at finding a solution. We need more perspectives to see a bigger picture none of us could see alone so we can make smarter strategic choices and learn rapidly as we act. Boom! Ok, so it is easy to write and a lot harder in practice … but still, making it a big deal just makes it feel less achievable.
This work isn’t radical. It is obvious. When faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, humans have always turned to each other. That’s why we are still here, so here we go again, we know how to do this.
... and for those who haven't heard it, here's the poem Time to Awaken (written in 2004):