A thought struck me yesterday. What if Protagoras was right, and “man is the measure of all things”, what would that mean? From my professional perspective this is certainly true. I have seen lots and lots of organizations struggling to get “things” done and I found out that there is one key thing they needed to do. If you manage to boil that “thing” they want to get done down to a level at which individuals can make a true connection (both rationally AND emotionally) to it, the magic of succesful change is way more likely to happen….
Over the next few weeks, I will be finalizing a point of view on Journeys, a way of dealing with transformations that fits the demands of today’s reality. For now, let me share the first bit of this publication:
Transformations in the ‘10s
Some twenty years ago, large scale transformations were complex but manageable by addressing them as a project. Based on the desired outcome, the work was broken down into work products, progress, milestones and deliverables were closely monitored, and changes in the context of the project or change were identified and dealt with in order to minimize their impact on the work in progress.
I will get back at you as soon as I’m able to…the fun thing is that we have been able in just a few posts to touch the paradigm shift you are mentioning – which is exactly what we are experiencing in the Netherlands concerning the educational system as well. One thing pops to mind immediately, the frustration caused by each new Ministry of Education trying to ‘change’ the system – marginally and I think mainly focused on ‘leaving behind an achievement’ after a four year period as minister in the government – making it worse and worse.
Anyway, as said, I will get back on this soon!
Hey Tommes, it’s been a while since I answered your last post (How about… part 3).
I have been thinking about it a lot. And I think the answer is conceptually simple and practically very complicated. Two issues need to be addressed:…
Last week, I was part of a facilitation team, hosting a session for 88 people from a large retail organization, with the goal of defining ways to collabaratively achieving their strategic objectives. My role in this team was to visualize the complexity as it evolved from the process. This visualization will be digitalized and be used as a visual portal to the wiki-like web environment in which all the content was structured and delivered.
In the end, I think we were succesful in delivering what we promised. The visualization was spot-on on a content level and visually very appealing and supporting. However, if I were to do it again next week, there is a number of things that I would definately do differently….
You know Tommes,
coming back to your last statement, that we really should explore what really can help people. I think that we’re reaching a paradigm shift.
Old ways of solving problems do not suffice anymore. A new approach is needed and I think we, as facilitators of large scale interventions, are on the brink of putting a lot of puzzle pieces together. I am working on an article explaining about this new way of thinking and multiple intelligences. The role of educational systems in this. The appreciation of the subconsciousness as a very powerful and reliable machine to process and recognize patterns and act upon them.
You must recognize some of this.
Just give me a couple more weeks. Help me write it. Get it out there!
Hi Franc, it’s been a busy week!
With you guys over at Les Fontaines – creating a fun digital and physical experience for 1700 (as I have been told) Capgemini consultants worldwide, some of us in the Bootcamp – creating a learning experience on a ship (!) on facilitation for another bunch of consultants and the rest of us ‘back home’ balancing the work!
Your thoughts – and some random dialogues with colleagues and clients – triggered more thinking. Apart from the sequence in which we work with individual and shared experiences, our common ground is that we are highly convinced that for a true change to happen, people will have to feel deeply that that change will bring them a brighter future. And experiencing a glimpse of that future, together with experiencing the need to move away from current reality, is what will provide that feeling….
Hey there Tommes,
interesting thought, that. I guess I do not (yet) make a conscious distinction between individual and shared experiences when designing my events. As I am thinking about this, I realize that in many of my events, I try to start off with individual experiences and move towards a shared one.
In my head, an individual experience is possibly very powerful. An experience can be seen as a collision between one’s internal values and the things that are happening around the individual that are perceived through the senses. What happens to individuals in sessions, is that they translate their experience into a mental image.
The best sessions I did, were those where the participants managed to visualize their mental image (experience) and share them with the other participants. This was immensely helpful in understanding each other’s values, drivers and visions. Once participants shared , they were able to synthesize and create a collaborative image. If visualized, this collaborative image / experience acts as an immensely strong starting point of the collaborative design.
Once you reach that point, there are numerous ways you can take from there.
Can you relate to this, or does it work differently in your mind?
Hi Franc, just something that popped up, that I would like to have your thoughts on. Well, maybe not popped up, felt more like an epiphany…more or less…but let me cut to the chase: how about us exchanging some thoughts on individual versus shared experiences? You know we always aim for creating an experience in the events we facilitate, creating the intent to move towards a certain objective, vision or something likewise – apart from the insights. In designing events, I noticed that I sometimes more or less on purpose choose to focus on creating the individual experience, so something enclosed by the body and mind of one person – or actually all the individuals that participate in the event. On other occasions I focus on creating a shared experience, aim for a group-thing to happen and having them all experience the feeling of break thru or profound understanding of why they should be moving towards to vision. Gimme your thoughts, let’s see where it takes us…