Seeing and Being Through NetworksJanuary 2, 2014 4 Comments
For those who read this blog on a somewhat regular basis, you know that we at IISC find and experience great promise in embracing network approaches to (and as) social change. So what happens when we truly see ourselves as and in networks; that is, appreciating how we are inextricably embodied through and embedded in interconnected flows of energy, material goods, ideas, intentions, etc.?
Ten thoughts, in no particular order, nor meant to be exhaustive:
- We are better able to see how work and life really happen.
- We might better understand patterns of influence and inequity.
- We can acknowledge and support key collaborative leadership and change functions such as process design, facilitation, convening, curation, network weaving . . .
- We might see that social and environmental responsibility (or what Peter Drucker once called “leading beyond the walls“) is not an extraneous moral consideration but an intrinsic survival imperative.
- We might be more willing to lead with the spirit of generosity and grateful receiving.
- We might value diversity as a source of resilience and richness.
- We might understand that building connectivity – bridging boundaries and creating trustful relationships – counts as a “result.”
- We might give up our efforts to try and control everything and devote more time to creating conditions for emergence and intelligent self organization.
- We might value contribution for its own sake and not limit ourselves with concerns about its source.
- We might “accept others as legitimate others” (Humberto Maturana’s definition of love).
Not to say that all of this happens on its own without discipline and discernment, without attention being paid to contextual uniqueness, existing structures of power and injustice, and our own “interior condition.”
What would a deeper appreciation of the networked nature of life bring to your work and the work of social change?