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Peter Block

(b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

 



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Peter Block (born 1940) is an American author, consultant, and speaker in the areas of organization development, community building, and civic engagement.



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Blog Post
  Introduction to the April 2013 Knowledge Letter
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 19 April 2013

  Peter Block: Lecture-style seating is a parade ground with comfort!
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 January 2014

  "Yes" has no meaning, if we cannot say "No"
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 24 March 2014

  Why the Good Share but the Great Collaborate
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 April 2014

  Provoke your thinking: Suppose how we see cause and effect is around the wrong way
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 May 2014

  There is nothing new about the Knowledge Cafe or is there?
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 1 December 2014

  An innovative way to document meeting minutes
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 26 January 2015

Category
  Employee Engagement [0 items]

Person
  PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

Quotation
  Connection before Content by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  Dissent is the cousin of diversity by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  How have I contributed to the current reality? by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  On advice by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  On commitment by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  On conversations that overcome the fragmented nature of our communities by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  On the pre-condition for change by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  On the promise of engagement by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  On the task of leadership by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  The question is, what qualifies as action? by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  The shift in the world begins with a shift in our thinking by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker

  We need to tell people not to be helpful by PeteráBlock (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker



Quotations from Peter Block:

 We must establish a personal connection with each other.

Connection before content.

Without relatedness, no work can occur.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Community: The Structure of Belonging 



 Dissent is the cousin of diversity; the respect for wide range of beliefs.

This begins by allowing people the space to say "no".

If we cannot say "no" then "yes" has no meaning.

Each needs the chance to express their doubts and reservations without having to justify them, or move quickly into problem solving.

"No" is the beginning of the conversation for commitment.

Doubt and "no" is a symbolic expression of people finding their space and role in the strategy.

It is when we fully understand what people do not want that choice becomes possible.

The leadership task is to surface doubts and dissent without having an answer to every question.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community 



 Accountabilty is the willingness to acknowledge that we have participated in creating, through comission or ommision, the conditions that we wish to see changed.

Without this capacity to see ourselves as cause, our efforts become either coercive or wishfully dependent on the transformation of others.

á Community will be created the moment we decide to act as creators of what it can become.

This requires us to believe that this organization, neighborhood, community is mine or ours to create.

This will occur when we are willing to ask the question "How have I contributed to the current reality?"

Confusion, blame and waiting for someone else to change are a defense against ownership and personal power.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community 



 Advice is unfriendly to learning, especially when it is sought.

Most of the time when people seek advice, they just want to be heard.

Advice at best stops the conversation, definitely inhibits learning, and at worst claims dominance.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker



 To be committed means you are willing to make a promise with no expectation of return.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community 



 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.á

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.á

We want measurable outcomes and we want them now.á

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.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker



 Relationship and connectedness are the pre-condition for change.

Every meeting, every process, every training program has to get people connected first.

Otherwise the content falls on deaf ears.

So small groups are an essential building block to any future you want to create.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
A Coversation with Peter Block 



 The world does not need a better definition of issues, or better planning or project management.

It needs the issues and the plans to have more of an impact, which is the promise of engagement.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community 



 The task of leadership is to be intentional about the way we group people and the questions that we engage them in.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker



 The question is, what qualifies as action?

Traditionally , we want a strategy, and a list of next steps and milestones , and the knowledge of who will be responsible for them in order to be satisfied that we have spent our time well when we are together.

Any change in the world will, in fact, need this kind of action. To say, however, that this is all that counts as action is too narrow.

If we are to value building social fabric and belonging as much as budgets, timetables, and bricks and mortar, we need to consider action in a broader way. For example:

Would a meeting be worthwhile if we simply strengthened our relationship?

Would a meeting be worthwhile if we learned something of value?

Suppose in a meeting we simply stated our requests of each other and what we were willing to offer each other.

Would that justify our time together?

Or, in the gathering, what if we only discussed the gifts we wanted to bring to bear on the concern that brought us together.

Would that be an outcome of value?

Saying yes to these questions opens and widens the spectrum of what constitutes action, and this is the point.

Relatedness, learning, requests, and offers of gifts are outcomes as valuable as agreements and next steps.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Community: The Structure of Belonging (pp. 80-82). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition. 



 The shift in the world begins with a shift in our thinking.

Shifting our thinking does not change the world, but it creates a condition where the shift in the world becomes possible.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community 



 We need to tell people not to be helpful.

Trying to be helpful and giving advise are really ways to control others. ...

Advice, recommendations, and obvious actions are exactly what increase the likelihood that tomorrow will be just like yesterday.

PeteráBlock, (b. 1940) American author, consultant, & speaker
Community: The Structure of Belonging 




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Wednesday 18 January 2017
10:09 PM GMT