Response to Dialogue - At de Lange LO24068
Thankyou for your thoughtful reply.
The reference to Heisenbergs experience in more detail was relevant and
enlightening. When I discovered readings on the new science and system
thinking some years back I was guided only by my previous reading
(bibliographies etc as I studied in isolation) and I was deleriously
excited by discovering what seemed like my own thoughts (albeit far more
eloquent and concise) on paper. My thoughts had been somewhat different
to those around me (as long as I can remember)and it is a liberating or
perhaps validating experience to find ones thoughts shared when they have
so often been at odds with a dualistic world. As I read your responses
the experience touches that same place in me.
You wrote "There is something about limited time that worries me very
much." Limited time - let me explain where I am coming from when I use
this language. I want to work with people with their language, their
constructs, and their perception of the issue. I do not come to them
trying to teach a process or method. A senior executive team perceives
(and rightly so) that they have limited time to devote to any one subject.
Some in the team may not see that subject as of core value to them. Let
me illustrate. Two public utilities had been fighting for three years.
They had tried litigation, slanging matches in the print media, angry
faxes and angry phone calls. They were costing each other time and money
and their relationship had deteriorated to the point of actively
undermining each other. A new CEO arrives in one group. The two CEO's
talk. They call me(readyness + senior commitment). Both teams come
together. We focus on how they want their relationship to be and 'paint a
picture' of it. They find they have similar values, create a structure
(system)to support those values throughout their organsations, and build
relationships. Within 6hours they have committed to act. 14 months later
we meet again. They are, upon reflection astounded at the turn around in
The time they took was 6 hours. Ofcourse, they had spent years before and
then spent much time afterwards taking the agreed to actions. I am only
their to experience and be part of the creation of the 'Hippopotamus ears'
or tip of the iceberg. They are very smart people. They know their
situation better than anyone. And are in a better position than anyone to
take action and support action in others. In business terms however, the
intervention was 'fast'. Not weeks of workshops etc.
You mentioned the rythmn of the communication. I am hooked into referring
to my work as fast 1. because it is 2. because that language is the
language of my client - by using it I validate their needs and take them
to a place where they can discover their own rythmn and then continue it
themselves. I do not design work to beget work. I don't want to come
into the organisation and solve from within for 1. philosphical reasons
and 2. personal reasons.
Part of what prompted me to want to identify a structure around my work
was the anguish I hear in so many friends , colleagues and indeed myself
(years ago) when forced to work with management consultants who come to
the group as the expert and apply models to tell them how to improve.
Last Sunday a friend described his own experience with some regret. He is
a partner in a law firm. On the second day of a workshop run by m
consultants to improve the businesses profitability, he lost it. He said
to the presenter."Sit down don't show me any more ist year marketing
diagrams, if you have an offering put it on the table and we will assess
it, but stop pretending we are collaborating to that end!" His was not a
unique experience. However this kind of disenfranchisement is not a
feature of dialogue.
Why are we so willing to accept this style of intervention in business
today even when we know that it's results are limited? What is it about
the prevailing minset that endorses this behaviour? Am I being too harsh.
I saw some figures suggestiong that 12% of reengineering/downsizing
efforts in Australia had improved efficiency and yet surely this was an
important part of their aim.
I am still reading the list archives to find the openspaces references you
mentioned. I come across so much other material that it is all taking me a
while. But I am enjoying it very much.
In refernce to Steve Eskow, I saw the Dialogue, discussion, debate
reference L023051. I find this is indeed a natural rythmn. For me as a
facilitator I keep the group in dialogue for a as long as we can to 'paint
the rich picture' and then they need to discuss certain points in order to
take them to action and through this cahnge in rythmn (within the rythmn)
other ideas objections, are dealt with within a more familiar (to
them)framework that now has a basis of shared/understood/accepted values
and therefore a shift in relationship. Debate may be in snipits or
sometimes more formal,but inevitably we return to the space where the
dialue is. They are kind of interested in this space and eventually take
over with me just maintaning the focus from time to time.
Well even I'm starting to lose me now, so I best go eat something.
Thanks again. I value your input.
"celia moriarty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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