Last week a small group of us from CPsquare met to ... to meet and talk and listen at the Prato Dialogue. From different parts of the world and in different discipline and professional areas we have overlapping interests. We shared values about social processes which allowed for:
- emerging objectives
- holding amibiguity and learning from the tensions of complexity
- an equal focus on community, domain and practices
It was an oasis from my professional world where people emphasise outcomes, clarity and a focus on domain. And where you get your importance from talking, not listening!
Our setting was a run-down guesthouse with a fabulous roof terrace and view over the city of Florence. We shared rooms, bathrooms and kitchen duties, with those elements as important as that of talking about the domain.
Some of the practices I saw being modeled by the others at the Dialogue and which I want to rub off on me were:
- The way that Etienne Wenger looks to be transformed by conversations. He listens and lets himself be transformed by them.
- The way that John Smith notices the small details in what people are doing and saying and weaves them into the bigger story, bringing in small things that make big differences.
- Patricia Arnold's continuously open and curious stance, living the paradox of certainty when everything is uncertain. I also have something to learn from her attention to detail.
- The care Marc Coenders shows people, his capacity for listening and the way he puzzles and learns from people's stories.
- Shawn Callahan's there-ness and capacity for listening and reformulating and reconceptualising what people say.
- Ueli Scheuermeier's independence and self-contained-ness. The way he self-organises and just does it. He also packs a very small suitcase that I aspire to.
- Derek Chirnside's positive outlook on practices and his dexterity in picking up the ball and running with it.
- The way Andy Roberts both engages fully and maintains his independence; he seems to be able to maintain objectivity and subjectivity at the same time.
The domain elements of what we talked about and learned from each other are coming up in the next post.
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