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If we wish to change the world we first must change our mind

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 25 November 2013



If we wish to change the world we first must change our mind
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 161
Posted DateMonday 25 November 2013 08:56 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I only recently discovered the work of Peter Block.

To me the most interesting of his work is this Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community Changing the Nature of the Conversation booklet written by Peter and several others.

Peter is one of those people who sees the world through a very different lens from most of us. I suspect many will have difficulty with what he has to say and his style of writing but he espouses some very profound ideas that I find invigorating food for thought.

One example is that maybe our ideas about what constitutes action are all wrong as he says here:
My belief is that the way we create conversations that overcome the fragmented nature of our communities is what creates an alternative future.

This can be a difficult stance to take for we have a deeply held belief that the way to make a difference in the world is to define problems and needs and then recommend actions to solve those needs.

We are all problem solvers, action oriented and results minded. It is illegal in this culture to leave a meeting without a to-do list.

We want measurable outcomes and we want them now.

What is hard to grasp is that it is this very mindset which prevents anything fundamental from changing.

We cannot problem solve our way into fundamental change, or transformation.

This is not an argument against problem solving; it is an intention to shift the context and language within which problem solving takes place.

Authentic transformation is about a shift in context and a shift in language and conversation. It is about changing our idea of what constitutes action.

The booklet also talks about a conversational process that has much in common with my Knowledge Cafe. If you are interested in change and the role of conversation in bringing about change then this document is a must read. I am reading and re-reading it several times over to integrate the ideas into my own thinking and to assess its potential impact on my Knowledge Cafe process.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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