This is the third and final blog with a focus on working with change leadership and participatory approaches in the mainstream. In response to the needs of my clients and the work we are doing together, I am re-articulating, redesigning and rebranding my work to be able to have the greatest possible impact. It is exciting to share what I am learning and the response to the blogs has been provocative and inspiring. I look forward to hearing more and continuing this conversation with you for years to come!
My Business Model Matters
Recently one of my corporate clients took me to task for just handing out work to others without making any money from it - warning me that the quality of work others do upon my recommendation has the potential to undermine my brand. She considered it not only irresponsible to my business' growth but also to my family security (three kids!). It struck me that in this next incarnation of my work, how I run my business was one of the ways people are assessing how / if they will work with me.
This is part 2 about going mainstream ... there's more to come! A part 3 on business models, branding and protection. All my understandings here are evolving on a daily basis in conversations with clients, collaborators and colleagues ... it would be super to here any thoughts you have to throw in the mix! Here we go ...
Making it as easy as possible to lead change
My experience of change leadership and participatory approaches is that it demands people shift their world view; the way they see their world. This means their beliefs about themselves, their work, their community, what results are etc all has to change. Without the worldview shift none of the models and methodologies deliver. The level of change we are willing to go through inside ourselves is directly relative to the level of change we will see around us.
That is no small ask! I want to remove all obstructions and distractions from that core activity. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to enter that realm of my work because it is so critical. That has meant I have had to let go of some of the things I held most sacred and develop new ways of working that fit better the context I am in. I do not want to give people an excuse to dismiss it - it just feels too important to me. I cannot be precious about it.
What can I let go of to allow for greater connection among people? What are the props I am attached to that no longer serve the work? What language alienates rather than invites people into conversation and action together?
This is the first post in a two part blog on "going mainstream". This one is an overview of some of thoughts and the next blog has some specific learnings that have turned up so far. Part two will be published July 2nd, Wednesday next week.
Back in the day
Back in the day, when I looked like this (that's me on the left with the magnificent side burns), Art of Hosting and Participatory Leadership was a fringe effort. In 1999 Toke, Monica and Jan had done their first Hosting training in the USA with Pioneers of Change and then I met them at Castle Borl in Slovenia in 2000, where this picture is taken. It was a massive period of awakening for me. I discovered a whole suite of theory and methodology that aligned with my innate understanding of how humans could organize together to achieve their potential. The World Cafe, Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search, Chaordic design and so much more poured into my life and invigorated me into all kinds of action, including the founding of Engage! InterAct in the Netherlands.
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