The word ‘conversation’ derives from the Latin con versare – to turn or to dance together. Are you kept on your toes when you feel deeply that the core of your activity is participating in ‘the dance’?
Conversation is the single greatest learning tool in your organization—more important than computers or sophisticated research. As a society, we know the art of small talk, we can talk about the weather or our holidays. But when we face complex or contentions issues, when there are feelings and different opinions, our defence mechanisms surface and this can impede communications. Besieged by data, seduced by knowledge from books and the internet, many people seem to have forgotten the value of the wisdom gained by ordinary conversations. Continue reading
In today’s environment we see more complexity than ever before and it is widely acknowledged as one of the biggest barriers to organisational performance in both the public and private sectors. So why has complexity never been addressed holistically? Continue reading
We are in a world that is connected, but not communicating
The world is changing faster than ever before, and organisations today are facing complex challenges never experienced before. Yet we are not creating conversations that matter and are not harnessing the collective wisdom of our sociality. Continue reading
At the heart of what we do is facilitation of Participatory Leadership within organisations to drive enhanced performance. Within your organisation your people have the solutions to the problems you’re facing. We harness the collective knowledge and wisdom of everyone in an organisation to generate innovative solutions to move the organisation forward. Continue reading
In order to thrive, a business must be aligned around a meaningful purpose and shared values. With our help, you’ll rediscover the real purpose that sits at the core of your organisation, bringing total clarity to guide every aspect of your organisation. Continue reading
How can we use our collective imagination to move from ideas to action?
An invitation was sent to a diverse group of individuals to a participatory taster event in Edinburgh using two methodologies from several that can be used to solve complexity. When these events are held for a whole day or over several days, or become the operating system of an organisation, the outcomes become deeper and more meaningful. These methodologies are used in policy development in the EU Commission and Austrian local government, Ontario’s rural and agricultural organisations, Minnesota university student mental health and international pharmaceutical companies. They have also been used in redesigning the free health care system in Columbus Ohio Continue reading
The Presencing approach of Otto Scharmer of MIT is a model that is used in across all types organisation for social change by creating the capacity for community wisdom. I frequently underpin the design collaborative change processes and workshops using the model. It has inspired me to invite my clients to look behind the scenes and explore the necessary depth needed to achieve the goals. Continue reading
I was one of six authors of Systems Thinking, published by the Management Innovation Exchange. You can find the full publication here
Deming and others showed that when you look at the performance of an organisation, about 85% to 95% is due to the system. That leaves roughly only about 10% that is due wholly or in the total control of the person doing the work. How often have you heard people say in their 1:1 appraisal ‘that goal was out of my total control to deliver’. Continue reading
Once upon a time…
When we hear that phrase, it brings back magical memories of someone reading a story to us during childhood. Suddenly, we have warm thoughts of fantasies, fairy tales, princesses, and pirates. Continue reading
New solutions are needed. Increasing complexity compels us to find new solutions. Participatory Leadership enables collaboritive change is crucial to unlock your organisation’s capacity to solve complex problems and create success in the twenty-first century. ‘Just do your job’ may have been a default response to dissatisfied workers in times gone by, but not now. Continue reading
Citizens’ power and participation are essential to co-design the integration across Health and Social Care Services in Scotland. The forthcoming Community Empowerment Bill lays out that “public service providers should give communities a say in how services are delivered. Examples of public service providers are hospitals, schools, police, and local councils.” Continue reading
An Unconference brings people together to find solutions to an issue or question, or to discuss a particular theme, with emphasis placed on taking action as a result. Continue reading
Your people already know the answers to the problems within your organisation. We facilitate them to draw out solutions that can be used to address these.
This is achieved by dialogue, collaboration, Participative Leadership also know as the Art of Hosting and harvesting the wisdom of all stakeholders. Continue reading
People often ask ‘when do we use participatory leadership?’ Firstly, it helps to understand the nature of the problem faced i.e. is it a complicated or a complex problem?
What’s the difference between sending a rocket to the moon and getting children to succeed in school? What’s the difference between a surgeon extracting a brain tumour and judge and jury deciding guilty or innocent for a person accused of murder? Continue reading
The course was attended by forward-thinking leaders and facilitators of meetings with employees, customers, boards, public engagement, neighbourhoods, groups seeking more effective ways to inspire, engage and activate innovation and business value within their teams and stakeholders. This is about leaders and future leaders who deal with complexities in groups. Continue reading
Chaordic Stepping Stones: Notes Derived from Dee Hock, Visa CEO; embracing chaos and creative order. When individual purpose becomes social (event and process planning). Nine steps of project management: Need, purpose, principles, people—the first four steps; collectively, the invitation; iterative. Continue reading
Guest post by Alan Moore
Welcome to the Participatory Leadership also know as the Art of Hosting Scotland 2013. This site harvests the outcomes of the three-day gathering that took place November 27-29 at Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith. To find out more about the November 2013 training click here
On the 27th of November 50 strangers, more or less, came together to begin a journey of, the heart, the hand and the mind. Framed around the concept and methodology of Participatory Leadership this event was hosted and held by an organization called The Art of Hosting.
It is special in how it brings people together and demonstrates a way in which people in organisations can affect real systems change. It is counter intuitive in that it is simple – designed around what makes us human and harnesses the better aspects of our humanity; goodness, trust, a desire to be better, harnessing our collective intelligence and, is inclusive of all that participate. But it is not how we traditionally would engage in thinking about systems of change. Normal management systems are command and control in their design where people are often treated no better than components that are fitted into a machine, and where machine efficiency overrules all other aspects of the design of the system. Participatory Leadership is about engaging us all at a human level.
Hear what participants of the Art of Hosting have to say about the course:
Recently I collaborated with 6 co-authors to produce Working for the Customer, Not The Man
Bosses aka ‘the man’ frequently blur the line of sight to the customer forcing people to choose between meeting the needs of the boss or the customer. The fact that the boss doles out reward [raises, good evaluation, promotion etc] and punishment [poor assignments, no raise or even firing] based mostly on their ‘subjective’ evaluation sets up a power dynamic that all too often focuses on the boss’ needs rather than the needs of the customer.
The focus on the needs of the manager shifts the energy away from the customer in subtle but powerful way. The job, as defined by the manager, is written with the ‘real’ customer in mind and usually describes tasks and duties that deliver ‘something’ [product or service] to the customer. The employee is told their job is to serve and meet the needs of the customer. However in practice, the employee is frequently tasked with work (or working conditions) that obscure the goal making it difficult to meet customer expectation or even worse conflict with delivering quality product to the customer.
This dynamic is reinforced by the way we define jobs and measure performance where the manager is at the center. Developing customer-focused job description moves the customer to the center, increases role clarity and shifts the power from the boss to the customer.
“The idea of change is most often symbolised by the butterfly which takes a completely different form, ‘trans-forms’ from one part of its life to the next.”
In its earlier form it is usually a slow, ‘dull’ earth-bound consumer.
By going within, into its dark chrysalis, for a period of time,
the butterfly emerges to take flight into beauty and grace.
In Norie Huddle‘s book, Butterfly, she writes: Continue reading