September 3, 2009
Colleague Glen Lauder shared this with me this week. It was framing that he spoke to the New Zealand Land and Water Forum. It was offered in the context of framing a structure for a years worth of engagement processes that would include 30 people. It was spoken to offer clarity of invitation and purpose. It is one of the clearest I have seen in some time.
1. Wellness -- It is important that we focus on what we are doing well. It is important that we notice when we are working well. This links nicely to the appreciative approach and the reality that "what we give our attention to grows." It is also a nice invitation to notice what we already know. Thus, the invitation is not to start over, but rather to build on what we know and ask what we could also know, including what we could also let go of.
2. Pratice -- The learning that we are in comes largely from a field of practice. There are now practitioners all over the world who are sharing what works. It is learning from engagement. It is story. It is methods. It is invitation for us to be practitioners and pioneers of social methodologies and apply what we learn at scale.
3. Theory -- Though we do not speak as theoreticians, there are several aspects of theory that feed these practices. It is an invitation to notice the most clear gems and world views. And example is self-organization. Another is systems theory. Another is chaos and complexity theory.
4. No Shit -- This was a warrior's call into clarity of purpose. If the work is about preserving water and land availability -- some of NZ's most important issues, then make sure this is at the center. If the work is about preserving rivers that our children might swim in them and feel expansive in spirit, then make sure this is at the center. It is the invitation to show up with the realness of issue, despite any obstacles in the past be they political or otherwise. It is the invitation to think beyond planning meetings.
5. Personal -- For us to work in wholeness, we must show up personally. Very often I hear the distinction that people make about showing up personally versus professionally. Sharing stories of home, of family, of emotions often are not the pattern for professional work. And yet, the learning is that we can't not show up personally. We must be willing to take that personal journey and not fear the integration.
6. Offer what is Above -- Each time, can we be deliberate to notice what we know now that we did not know before. Or feel. Or intuit. Stand with each other in a commitment to innovate and to notice what is emerging. Earlier in the week we asked people to notice what is arising in the group. This was a question about noticing patterns. It is the invitation to see what is unfolding. To see what is beyond what we know as individuals. It is further invitation to trust that those noticings give us the wisdom we need for the next steps.