Archive for August, 2009

Participatory Leadership

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Via the Art of Hosting emaillist Toke send us a harvest document that talks about Participatory Leadership. This is in other language the worldview that we train people in, in The Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations. Here it is for you to enjoy!

How do you explain participatory leadership in one sentence?

o Imagine… a meeting of 60 people, where in an hour you would have heard everyone and at the end you would have precisely identified the 5 most important points that people are willing to act on together.

o When appropriate, deeper engagement of all in service of our purpose.

o Hierarchy is good for maintenance, participatory leadership is good for innovation and adapting to change.

o Complements the organigramme units with task force work groups on projects.

o Look at how well they did it in ….. – We could be the ones everybody looks at.

o Using all knowledge, expertise, conflicts, etc. available to achieve the common good on any issue.

o It allows to deal with complex issues by using the collective intelligence of all people concerned & getting their buy-in.

o Participatory Leadership is methods, techniques, tips, tricks, tools to evolve, to lead, to create synergy, to share experience, to lead a team, to create a transversal network, to manage a project, an away day, brainstorming, change processes, strategic visions.

o Consult first, write the legislation after.

From Traditional ways of working -> To Participatory leadership complementing

Harvesting after the check-in circle

Individuals responsible for decisions -> Using collective intelligence to inform decision-making

No single person has the right answer, but somebody has to decide ->Together we can reach greater clarity – intelligence through diversity

Hierarchical lines of management ->Communities of practice

Wants to create a FAIL-SAFE environment ->Creates a SAFE-FAIL environment that promotes learning

Top-down agenda setting ->Set agenda together

I must speak to be noticed in meetings ->Harvesting what matters, from all sources

Communication in writing only ->Asking questions

Organisation chart determines work ->Task forces/purpose-oriented work in projects

People represent their services ->People are invited as human beings, attracted by the quality of the invitation

One-to-many information meetings ->A participatory process can inform the information!

Great for maintenance, implementation (doing what we know) ->When innovation is needed – learning what we don’t know, to move on – engaging with constantly moving targets

Information sharing ->When engagement is needed from all, including those who usually don’t contribute much.

Dealing with complaints by forwarding them to the hierarchy for action ->Dealing with complaints directly, with hierarchy trusting that solutions can come from the staff

Consultation through surveys, questionnaires, etc. ->Co-creating solutions together in real time, in presence of the whole system

Top-down ->Bottom-up

Management by control ->Management by trust

Questionnaires (contribution wanted from …) ->Engagement processes – collective inquiry with stakeholders

Mechanistic ->Organic – if you treat the system like a machine, it responds like a living system

Top down orders – often without full information ->Top-down orders informed by consultation

Resistance to decisions from on high ->Better acceptance of decisions because of involvement

Silos/hierarchical structures ->More networks

Tasks dropped on people ->Follow your passion

Rigid organisation ->Flexible self-organisation

Policy design officer disconnected from stakeholders ->Direct consultation instead of via lobby organisations

People feel unheard/not listened to ->People feel heard

Working without a clear purpose and jumping to solutions ->Collective clarity of purpose is the invisible leader

Motivation via carrot & stick ->Motivation through engagement and ownership

Managing projects, not pre-jects ->Better preparation – going through chaos, open mind, taking account of other ideas

Focused on deliverables ->Focused on purpose – the rest falls into place

Result-oriented ->Purpose-oriented

Seeking answers ->Seeking questions

Pretending/acting ->Showing up as who you are

Broadcasting, boring, painful meetings ->Meetings where every voice is heard, participants leave energised

Chairing, reporting ->Hosting, harvesting, follow-up

Event & time-focused ->Good timing, ongoing conversation & adjustment


Thursday, August 20th, 2009

(This is the text of my recent Newsletter – with an addition by Ashley Cooper).
Last week I took a day off to go to the Belgian coast with a friend. Actually, we were lovers once upon a time. Probably you know the feeling of getting into ‘the old track of conflict’…

We had good conversations over lunch in Bruges, one of the most famous and picturesque cities in Belgium. We had walked on the boardwalk in the port of Ostend; I had taken a long walk on the beach while he took a nap. Now we found ourselves in a restaurant at the beach, eating fish.

He said something,
and I replied. No – I reacted.
Then he reacted.
And then I stopped.

I could feel it immediately! There was an emotional charge in my tone; I was out of my center and in a position of making sure my point came across. I stopped and asked if I had been harsh/hard on him. But I didn’t need to ask, I knew it already. My body had told me.

This to me is an example of embodiment of consciousness; a sensing so fine that it can distinguish the subtle differences between actions coming from ego or from our center. I see a rise in the importance of embodiment. Both in new, innovative ways like The 16 Ways of Dylan Newcomb, the fascinating world of Take Tina, and in my own co-hosted program of Women Moving the Edge. Also in the mastery of lineages that are applied to our current times, like the Conscious Embodiment of Wendy Palmer and the Warrior of the Heart; both sprouted from the old roots of Aikido.

You may wonder why this is important…
It is about being present,
Fully aware of what you radiate out to others,
Open to subtle sensing of yourself, the other and what is in between.
It is about knowing your inner ground,
And being able to return to it easily when you lose it.
It is about the capacity to act form your center,
When the world gets complex and chaotic.

It’s about being ready for the times ahead. Please don’t suspend till later.
These times are approaching rapidly.

Ashley responded: “on your embodiment poem, I played with it a little bit to reflect my own experience.” Here is her version:

Fully aware of what you radiate through your inner ground
and out to others
Open to subtle sensing of yourself, the other and what is in between.

And being able to return to your inner ground easily when you lose it.
It is about the capacity to act form your center,
When the world gets complex and chaotic.

Thanks Ashley!

More on questions

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Like Chris Corrigan, a Canadian Art of Hosting friend, I’m holding questions, or I live in questions. Lately I noticed that conversations that don’t hold a question – somewhere in the middle, somehow conscious or not – can’t keep my attention for long (anymore). I seem to be addicted to the sense of aliveness that goes with conversations around a question. I know, if we hold questions together, something really life-affirming can come out of it!

The questions that I am living in, for me personally:

What is the next level of my Work, and how do I not get in the way (of its unfolding)?

What is professionalism in networking and stewarding?

What is the bigger whole that I am serving?

What are the questions that you are holding???

Fabulous list of weird questions!

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Via, via, via I came across a blogpost of Benjamin Aaron, participant in the Hub Berlin, and he shares an amasing list of questions!!! A few examples:

When you hear the term “sacred questions”, are there some coming to your mind that you would name sacred questions?

How would my experience of you be, if you are shining in your brightest light, radiating pure energy, being fully aligned with your passion?

You have 5sec on a stage where every human on earth will watch you – what would you do and say?

We are before the BigBang – you are god(ess) and you can choose which area(s) of the unborn world you take responsibility to create.

and many more!