Triodos Bank interviewed lots of people at the recent Festival of Economics. They posted a blog about ‘5 Things we learned at the Festival’ featuring only two of the many people they filmed. One of them was Liz Zeidler. You can read the blog and hear from Liz here.
For around 12 years now, I’ve been puzzling over the way party politics digs away at trust, undermining the very ground all politicians need to stand on. There are two pretty damaging side effects of being in perpetual attack mode. First – if the overall impression is that everyone thinks everyone else is untrustworthy or wrong, then why believe any of them? Second – people tend to follow the example set by others with more authority, so ‘attack mode’ becomes pervasive. Neither of these produces much public service of any good…
Those I speak to mostly seem to feel political dysfunction has the inescapable power of a black hole – what can they do, caught in this viscous cycle?
So, together with a philosophical friend, I’ve written to all British MP’s (at least those I can find addresses for) with an invitation to put their best foot forward and publicly set their shoulders to the virtuous circle of good work which certainly goes on. You can find the project on a website I’ve called ‘Dear All’ here.
If enough politicians take personal responsibility for setting trustworthy standards of constructive behaviour, the culture of the House will shift in that direction. Parliamentary politics should get better. That’s the theory. Let’s see what they say.
In this piece, Mike Zeidler makes the case for a ‘U turn Policy’ as an essential piece of armoury for strong leaders. Without this protection, it’s too easy to cross the fine line from intelligence to belligerence, with potentially catastrophic results.
Here’s what happened at ASP’s Great Wisdom Gathering in Henley-on-Thames, facilitated by Mike Zeidler.
The gathering was attended by people from Sussex to Dorset. The rules of Open Space state very clearly that ‘whoever comes are the right people’, and so it was. Of the 17 due to attend, 12 made it, so there was more great wisdom than great numbers. Certainly the quality of the conversations was very good, and the topics covered wide-ranging. There was a theme around joining things up, system models and collaboration, another about personal support, and a third about our relationships with nature.
Got a vision you want to achieve collaboratively? Inclusive leadership is incredibly rewarding, but it’s easy to get it wrong.
People often assume there’s a straight trade-off between efficiency (or speed) and inclusivity, because it takes more time to sift through ideas, prioritise, agree actions and decide how to see them through. It’s certainly true we all get tangled up in problem solving from time to time, and the potential for getting truly tied up in knots goes up dramatically when more than a few people are involved.
When things get more complex, they tend to get a LOT more complicated very fast. Each team member will have their own thinking preferences, and organisational culture/leadersip style will also the number of factors you’re trying to take into account – the culture layers of
it’s also the variety of thinking preferences and in every team. Things get messy, stuck or even break down completely unless there are great communication practices in place.
The key to navigating complexity start to get it’s vital to tune into the balances at work. Simplify a problem too far and you have clarity, but it’s not very real. Factor in everything you can think of, and it’s likely to be impossibly messy. Feels like a Catch 22.
BUT with a good process set up from the start, it works out fine.
That’s where we can help. As well-informed facilitators, we know a lot about the way people and organisations work and learn. We take great pleasure in helping groups find clarity & ease in working together to solve complex problems so it becomes an exhilarating experience.
If you need to find that sweet spot, send your challenge to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07836 706978 – we’ll offer some initial thoughts and a quote for free.
The next event in the Power to Peer series is being held in Bournemouth with the Association of Sustainability Practitioners. We’ll be looking into collaboration for purpose led change. You can reserve a ticket on eventbrite here
On July 22nd 2016, we put on the UK’s second ‘Art of Cosmic Thinking’ event, building on feedback from the debut in Manchester back in May. The word cosmic comes from the word cosmos, meaning ‘the universe as a complex and orderly system’ and the talk explored how to hold the tension between keeping things simple and keeping things real.
Having stimulated minds with this introduction, we created an Open Space for everyone there to explore their own ideas. Click here to see what went on.
Life can seem very random when intuition and creativity play big parts in what we do. Mike Zeidler explains how to spot the patterns which make inner purpose and overall direction clearer on Friday 22nd July at 4pm in Redbrick House, Bristol. It’s a free event – Click here for full details and tickets.
When things go wrong and people are angry, the natural tendency is to look for someone or something to blame. We hold a public inquiry to make sure we know who’s fault it was, why it went wrong, and to make sure it never happens again.
The anger is stoked into a blaze of blame which gets so hot we step back from our own responsibilities. Instead of looking at ourselves, we glare at the unfortunates tied to the stake while opportunities for useful learning get incinerated.
Right now, there’s a scorched clearing where political leadership used to be. We’re all desperately keen to see hope rise from the ashes and need to see something new. Our own public inquiry distilled into two questions – who now? and what could be different? To see what we found, read the full article here.
The EU Referendum COULD have been a fascinating, engaging, participative and educational debate about the relationships of people across Europe. So far, the political debate has been a two dimensional, shallow and emotive competition between two different kinds of fear.
So how can we choose if we’re feeling under informed, overwhelmed by complexity or simply angry at the poverty of leadership? I think it’s a question of personal and collective courage. Read the full account here.
Inspired by a great TED talk called ‘Inside the mind of a master procrastinator‘ by Tim Urban, I’ve drafted a TED talk of my own. With the working title ‘The Art of Cosmic Thinking’, my talk uses sort-of-art to explore super-connective networking and order in chaos.
The first dress rehearsal will be at Revolution in Fallowfield, Manchester on Sunday 15th May. Please arrive at 5.45pm for a 6pm start.