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December 13, 2011

I’m writing an eBook

All right friends, it’s time.  I’m going to write my first e-book.  I’m going to do it in 30 days using the process outlined here.  Today is day 1.  I will be posting daily updates to my Facebook and twitter feeds.

I need your help.  I want to write about “teams, work and complexity,” I don’t have a title yet.  But it doesn’t matter what I want to write about if you don’t want to read about it!  The first two days of the process are about asking you for a topic.  See what copyblogger says:

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December 12, 2011

Goodness as Practice

Video blogger and hip-hop radio host Jay Smooth makes an eloquent case for understanding that being good does not require us to be perfect, and that learning to live with our imperfections is a way forward in contemporary race discourse. I’d share a few of his comments, hoping this will inspire you to find the time to listen to the whole talk.

“Are you saying that I am racist? How can you say that. I am a good person! Why would you say I am a racist?”

And you try to respond “I’m talking about a particular thing you said.”

“No, I am not a racist.”

And what started out as a “what you said” conversation turns into a “what you are conversation,” which is a dead end that produces nothing but mutual frustration and you never end up seeing eye to eye or finding any common ground…

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December 9, 2011

Murmuration

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ve heard me talk about the Networks and Decentralized Organizing Community of Practice that I’m a part of.  I’m continually buzzing with inspiration from this very special node in the network.

Part of our process includes a “daily practice” that is offered each day by a different member of the community.  Jenny Lee, of the Allied Media Projects, recently offered this practice – she titled it “Murmuration.”  I invite you to share your reflections.

Even if you’ve seen it before, watch it again and think about the questions:

  • If another species was observing and analyzing the shape, rhythm, contours of our movements what would they look like?
  • What is the most breathtaking structure and form of movement that you can imagine our networks taking? What would be the most inner-working mechanics that structure?
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December 9, 2011

December Lens

Join Ashley Welch of Interaction Associates Wednesday, December 14, at 1 pm Eastern time, for a timely conversation with her colleague from the Interaction Institute for Social Change, Melinda Weekes. They will discuss Strategies for Designing Social Change, exploring ways leaders in any sector can succeed when leading change. 

Melinda is a senior consultant who works with foundations, NGO’s and community leaders. Recently she has been supporting Occupy Wall Street. As a former lawyer, gospel music theorist and ordained clergy person, Melinda brings a unique perspective to social change.

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December 7, 2011

What's Your Piano Top?

“I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities.

If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat may come along and make a fortuitous life preserver. This is not to say, though, that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top.

I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

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December 7, 2011

What’s Your Piano Top?

“I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities.

If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat may come along and make a fortuitous life preserver. This is not to say, though, that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top.

I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

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December 6, 2011

A Real Workshop

“Knowing about a tool is one thing. Having the guts to use it in a way that brings art to the world is another. Perhaps we need to spend less time learning new tools and more time using them.” – Seth’s Godin

Reading Seth’s post on insight vs. tools made me want to create a real workshop – a learning space that is also a creative space, a laboratory for actual application.

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December 2, 2011

Tactile Speech

Nikky Finney recently won the National Book Award in Poetry for her collection Head Off and Split. If you have not seen or heard her acceptance speech, it is to be seen/heard (if you go to the link, you will have to fast forward a bit through John Lithgow and Elizabeth Alexander). In so many poignant and wonderful ways, she reminds us that, as Audre Lorde once wrote, “Poetry is not a luxury.”

In the video segment above, Finney brings greater dimension (and a sense of history) to the creative writing and speech act, by describing her affinity for blackboards as a way of engaging in more visual and tactile ways with her craft. Her words remind me of what I think many of us at IISC love about visual facilitation and graphic recording in our collaborative capacity building work, of putting marker to butcher block paper, rather than simply or exclusively relying upon conversation, PowerPoint and/or video projected word processing.  Process design and facilitation is a contact sport.

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December 1, 2011

Saving Our Tailings

recycle

|Photo by lydiashiningbrightly|http://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiashiningbrightly/3016016887|

One principle of living systems is that one person’s waste is someone else’s food.  This is how nature works, which is wonderful, and . . . unfortunately many of us are eating our own unhealthy waste in the form of industrial chemicals and other toxins, precisely because we seem to lack an overview of the cyclical nature of things.  On the upside, there are many ways that we could be much more efficient and even generate better health and greater wealth if we could think and act upon this notion of recycling and reusing waste.

This can include looking at how what is generally cast off as by-product might be used for creating additional value.  Read More

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November 30, 2011

Evergreen Collaboration

I have been very excited to hear about what is going on in Cleveland, not to mention how it is serving as a model and inspiration for other cities in this post-industrial age, including Springfield, Massachusetts and various communities in my native Michigan. What do you take and make of this? How might the efforts and aspirations of Evergreen inform your collaborations?

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November 29, 2011

Horizontal

“Stamp [the facilitator] jumped up and down. Her voice was hoarse from three hours of yelling. ‘Everyone is beautiful!’ she shouted. ‘Everyone is awesome!’

That’s some hard core facilitation.  I am struck, profoundly affected by, what is happening in our country.  I am inspired.  I am moved.  I have a deep sense of resonance.

“[T]he point of Occupy Wall Street is not its platform so much as its form: people sit down and hash things out instead of passing their complaints on to Washington. ‘We are our demands,’ as the slogan goes.”

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