There are three practices at the centre of participatory process: hosting, harvesting and organizing. I have been learning a lot about the key role the coordinators and organizers play in the success of our work, particularly on the more complex pieces of work. Here's a few reflections:
Check out this short video blog on what are the group sizes that shift the design, methods and approach ...
Tuesday Ryan Hart and I have been working on a model for systems change and equity ... it is exciting! Here's a short video blog with a little bit about why we are doing it and how we are going about it:
Chris Corrigan and I were recently in Calgary running an Art of Hosting training together and the professionalization of the field of engagement, facilitation and hosting came up. It provoked some thoughts about certification, IAP and the role of training events like the Art of Hosting in the bigger picture. The video blog speaks a lot to why we call it the ART of Hosting, why we have resisted certification of the Art of Hosting and why we must make this work widely available as a human practice rather than a professional field.
Just before leaving the event in Slovenia Mary Alice Arthur interviewed me. Here is what I had to say in response to her questions about Participatory Leadership, practice and where the work is going from below. You can see a full harvest from this excellent event here and here's the link to the summary of the track Toke and I ran together 'Making An Honourable Living'.
Right before me my friend, mentor and co driver for the trip Slovenia was interviewed too on similar questions. Here is what he had to say ...
Check out this short video introducing a learning track I am doing at the Practitioners Gathering in Slovenia in October. I am excited to be doing this with my old friend and mentor Toke Moeller. The video introduces the track and also has some highlights from a conversation we had recently.
I have put the learning track description below and an link to the event. Check it out and hope to see you there!
Making an honourable living and doing work for the common good of all:
Tim Merry, with guest host Toke Møller
FOR MORE INFO ON THE EVENT CLICK HERE
During the two days we have together we will explore the journey of making a living through staying connected to our integrity. On the first day we will look at one or two examples of applying Art of Hosting to large scale public engagement work - where money, purpose and power mingle together with enormous potential and great risk. On the second day we follow the trajectory of applying Art of Hosting as a practice in the world but also as business that pays the bills and leaves you with some profit at the end. Please come prepared to dive into provocative conversations with other participants, to explore models for public engagement and Art of Hosting as a business, and to dig deep to discover your own business ethic. This module will be co-designed by Tim and Toke on their road trip from Denmark to Slovenia, Tim will lead the sessions and Toke will be joining to give one or two teachings, his health permitting.
We’re going to have some fun.
We’re going to dive deep and learn a bunch about ourselves and our work.
We’re going to prepare for the future that is coming to meet us in the most practical way possible.
How about it? You in?
Tim and Toke
FOR MORE INFO ON THE EVENT CLICK HERE
Check out this short one minute teaser video of the upcoming webinar series:
The Leading Through Change Webinars offer our latest thinking and application to larger audiences. They include a live video presentation followed by questions and discussion. The webinars may be taken singly or in a package of three.
Check out my latest video blog with Tuesday Ryan Hart. We were recently working together to host an event exploring the intersection between participatory leadership and social justice. Some thoughts came up for us which we recorded on the spot - mostly around how social justice needs to be embedded into our systems change efforts ...
I had a great weekend working with folks from the Forestry Lab who are launching innovative solutions to the challenges in the forest sector. On the second day we re-visited the Two Loops of Systems Change (which we have been using as a model to understand our work) and Alastair Jarvis integrated his perspective on Lean Start Up. I loved seeing progressive entrepreneurship positioned in this big picture model. Check out the video - it's about 9 minutes and worth the viewing:
If you want to know more about Two Loops of Systems Change of Lean Start Up, here's some links:
This blog post has been provoked by conversations with friends, colleagues and current events. There is an accompanying op-ed piece in the LightouseNOW Progress Bulletin: Welcome refugees for their benefit and ours
The accompanying op-ed piece in this weeks paper (read the full article on the lighthouse now website):
The refugee crisis in Europe is the largest movement of people since the aftermath of world war two. From 1946 – 1962 Canada admitted nearly a quarter of a million refugees. Yet here we are faced with a disaster of similar size and we are not taking in the numbers despite the Ivany report and multiple other channels of research on our economy telling us we need to take 7,000 annually.
Well it has been a great summer and good trip over to Europe. I have already done a couple of video blogs but have been holding back until I could find time to write a short primer to get back into the blogging. So here we go ...
Boom! Like hitting a brick wall ...
Ha! So coming back into work again after the summer break hasn't been a bed of roses. All the work itself is really inspiring ... it is just the amount and the shift in gears. I had to wind myself up again. I am finding the more my work load increases the more I have to attend to my own well being - eating well, sleeping (not always possible with a 2 year old), exercising and blocking out time to just crack on with emails and to do lists. My days can easily be filled with endless meetings and conference calls if I don't make time to actually get some work done.
The other things I am learning is to enjoy my work again. I actually love what I do and once I get beyond "I shouldn't be working now" (like writing this blog at 9:45pm when I have a 7:30am meeting!) and just do the things that I want to as well as the urgent stuff - I just feel more balanced. I am not advocating endless days but a shift in attitude towards my work has given me some space to just enjoy it, rather than battle against the amount of it.
I feel like I am getting back into the swing of it, so here's a few things coming up I am excited about this autumn.
Comments welcome! What does this provoke for you?
Been inspired by Zaid Hassan's recent book on Social Labs for our work with NOW Lunenburg County and with the potential for Transformative Scenario Planning in our region. Seems like lots of people are talking about one or the other. Here's a few thoughts on the choice - which is needed when from my perspective ...
It is unacceptable to me that we create organizational structures and systems that de-humanize us and cause emotional and psychological damage to people. This over professionalism of our work places undermines our capacity to connect authentically and access different perspectives which would enable us to overcome some of our most pressing a seemingly intractable problems. Here's a story of a simple structure being put in place that supports the relational connection between people so can deliver on the hierarchical mandate of the organisation:
Inspired by recent conversations with Phil Cass I have been thinking about Organizational Practices. Juts the same way that we as individuals need practices to keep our centre and sanity in constant change (see my recent blog) - so our organisations need practices as well. Here's a quote form Phil and enjoy the video blog ...
"Leaders of organizations frequently talk about relationships being the core operating principle in their organizations. When I inquire as to how they "practice" relationships in their organizations there is rarely an answer. Organizations must practice being in relationship with each other for this to ever be a core principle in their organization." Phil Cass, Confluence Partner and CEO at Columbus Medical Association, Columbus Medical Association Foundation, Physicians Care Connection and Central Ohio Trauma System
My Mum is a Quaker. She loves my work but said to me once that community is not formed through conversation (as I would have it!) but that community is forged through silence. A group of people that can comfortably and companionably sit together in silence have a depth of relationship that is ready for anything. We tried it out at the recent tax assembly in the UK as a closing. Here's a little blog on it ... More to come!
Latest video blog on the tension between ideology and reality in change leadership, includes thoughts on the privileged position of consultants and using language that works … enjoy!
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