More Resonance than Persuasion

October 16, 2012 Leave a comment

I came up as an organizer.  I approached that work by working hard to persuade others that change was possible.  I then proceeded to illustrate the type of change that we could work on.  It is important and dignified work.

But as I came to understand networks I found myself doing a lot less persuading.  I’m not just seeking to build a critical mass.  I’m seeking to make critical connections.  Emergence bursts forth from these connections.

We connect with people that we resonate with, people who want what we want.  When we nurture this sort of resonance we begin to build powerful networks.  The networks that are built on resonance are the networks that have the capacity to self-organize.

When a network reaches the stage of self-organization it begins to have an impact that is much greater than anything that could have been foreseen through a traditional planning process.

Yes, it still makes sense to want to persuade others.  When we focus on resonance we are able to bring together those who don’t need to be persuaded.  When believers come together they are able to create great things.  When we create great things it is the fruit of our action is what persuades.  Not our words.

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  • Interesting contrast, but your last paragraph ‘resonates’ with me the most. Actions/skills like ‘persuade’ and ‘resonate’ are needed in different situations. Many emergent and organic networks develop because people find each other (often through the increased avenues afforded by virtual connections) and have common ideas so networks develop organically. To increase these networks and their goals and outcomes over time, though, people may need to be persuaded who do not come to these networks organically.

  • Gibran says:

    Bonnie, I agree that in order to diversify our networks and to connect different networks to each other, then persuasion would be helpful. But I think it is a different sort of persuasion when the energy of the work and the vibrancy of the network start to speak for themselves. It becomes less about abstract ideas and more about what is happening.

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