As usual, Johnnie points to some interesting ideas that kick me off. Change and diversity
Jack Ricchiuto has some thoughts on how change happens in networks.I agree about the processes, but I think the crucial thing that gets left out of all this is that there is no way to steer the process towards a "desirable" (for whomever) outcome, nor can we determine the result in advance....the possibility space for change opens up when we connect different people who can begin resonating together around shared stories, opportunities, and dreams. It’s a process of liberating people from the confines of clusters of sameness and ideological colonialism so they can move toward more diverse connections and pragmatic alignments.The phrase clusters of sameness resonates for me and I think organisations often clog up with those. He continues:the fusion of difference and resonance is a powerful approach because in that space, people move away from trying to change each other, which opens the space for the possibilities of creating innovative.. changes.. Resonant listening to one another’s differences allows us to join in both-and innovations that could never be possible in an either-or constrained world
We live in a control-oriented mindset, change that we do not initiate frightens us and we try to reassert whatever control we thought we had, change that we do initiate gets out of control very quickly and we waste more resources trying to get back in control.
In every case we resist any change that we don't think we can determine in advance. But we live in a real world where change is permanent and uncontrolled. Hell I remember writing in an essay in high school something to the effect that "in order to maintain a constant relationship with a constantly changing world, we have to change, constantly".
I thought it was pretty cool then and I still agree with its foundation, the only thing I'd add is that the constant relationship is itself impossible, that changes too.
The whole idea of change management is a crock. Change, like shit, happens. Our biggest problem is that we are not inclined, nor do we learn, nor are we taught as part of our education, to understand, adapt, participate in or benefit from the changes that happen. Still less are we able to abandon changes that are short term wins but long term failures.
For me, this is about opening space so that we can explore experiences fully, without the pressure to problem-solve.I'd love that to be true but I think we are running out of the lleisure we've had to be purely creative. The number and urgency of problems that we are going to have to solve, on a personal and daily basis, as well as a community and national one, is getting bigger, faster. Those of us, like me, who have had it damned easy all our lives and had the luxury of being able to invent, innovate and think about the world rather than get our hands dirty in it are going to spend the rest of those lives working much harder for much less money and often less return of all kinds.
With dwindling resources, the small problems that we simply threw some money at are going to become harder to deal with and the big problems such as climate change and PO are starting to cause medium sized problems such as landslips and crop failures that just wont go away. We've had 2 generations of cruising on the capital, from here on we will be paddling like hell to stay afloat.
If anything we need tools like open space and theatre sports as a form of rapid prototyping; spaces where we can bring hard problems, trial a bunch of possible solutions and take them away to work on them.