Another Busy Week   Leave a comment

Minneapolis has the largest concentration of N...

Casting for the future. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week has been one of those crazy weeks.  I had a meeting Tuesday morning and then traveled to Minneapolis for a meeting that was most of the day on Wednesday.  The greeting of snow in Minneapolis on Wednesday made the commute back a bit more stressful.  I am in the office this morning and a little this afternoon before I lead to take a group later today and this evening.  The really exciting thing is that I had a wonderful experience yesterday.  I wanted to share with you a few observations that I took away from yesterday.

The first is that it is great to gather with other leaders who are willing to be on the edge of life.  Our group was tasked with trying to discern the future direction for an organization.  Anyone that has been given such a task realizes that this is not necessarily an easy task to accomplish.  What makes it even more difficult is that there exists a huge variety of opinions, aspirations, and senses of purpose.  The group itself is very diverse.  However, what created energy and excitement was a shared opinion that anything is possible and many of the possibilities have not even come to mind yet.  This was the first truly introductory meeting of this group and so we spent a considerable amount of time hearing one another’s backgrounds.  This was extremely important to help us understand one another’s perspectives.  We also found connections that we had no idea existed between us.  Then we spent some time working with some contemplative approaches and a beginning of opening ourselves to discover new possibilities.  This leads me to my next observation from yesterday.

I tend to be a task/accomplishment-driven type of person.  When I gather with others, I usually desire that we “accomplish” something and have a clear next step.  However, I was forced yesterday to spend time in silence (anyone that knows me would say that is a challenge) and spend time opening my mind to thoughts that at first may seem very random.  This was a huge step for me and lead to some meaningful learning.  After we had time to write down some thoughts, we shared them with one another.  In the sharing we discovered connections within our thoughts.  We also discovered other questions that need to be explored.  I would tell you that when this process was first introduced I was skeptical at least and more leaning toward resistant.  After having experienced this, I would definitely encourage any group that has been given a future-looking task to use this as a launching point.

There are four more phases that we will be using to do our work together.  All of them require some time of contemplation, silence, and exploration of questions.  We will then use Google Hangouts to gather three more times to share and reflect together upon the thoughts that we arrive at alone.  The final phase will lead to us gathering face-to-face as we prepare to present our recommendations/discoveries/thoughts with a larger body of the organization.  I will keep you informed on my experiences throughout these phases.



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