Blog Post

Thinking big about "small pieces"

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 15 March 2009



Thinking big about "small pieces"
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 105
Posted DateSunday 15 March 2009 14:41 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://theobvious.typepad.com/blog/2009/02/thinking-big-abou ... 
http://dinamehta.com/blog/2009/03/07/imagination-intuition-a ... 
PeopleEuan Semple, Dina Mehta 

I picked up on this post on Thinking big about small pieces from Euan Semple from a response Imagination, intuition ... and small steps? by Dina Mehta.
One of the challenges for those of us who believe that we are at the beginning of a very significant period of change in how we see ourselves, our societies and our businesses is how to imagine what the future will be like. Having grand schemes and megalomaniac designs seems out of place with something that is in essence personal and intimate.

Part of me believes that we will get somewhere worthwhile if each of us takes the small steps that seem to make sense to us and that in aggregate these small steps will achieve something significant. The other part of me believes that this will confine us to thinking small and achieving less than we could and that without some inspiring, grander and more comprehensive vision we won't make much difference at all.

This ties in with concerns I have about making things happen in a world where making things happen is associated with old values and ways of thinking. How do you bring about significant change using conversations, influence and sticky ideas rather than command and control and grand plans?
In response, I shared with Euan one of my favorite quotes:
Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them.
Credit: From the book How children fail by John Holt
Like Euan, I have been wrestling with these very thoughts for some years and clearly Dina has too. Coincidentally, Euan and I met up in London last week and briefly discussed the issue and we agreed to take a long walk along the river Thames in a week or two to discuss the topic. I am looking forward to it.

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

Follow me on Twitter

How to contact me

My Blog

Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community is a global learning community of over 21,000 people in 160 countries across the world.

The community is for people who are committed to making a difference: people who wish to share and learn from each other and who strive to see the world differently, think differently and act differently.

Membership of the Gurteen Knowledge Community is free.
Knowledge Community


request help
visitor book
Friday 12 July 2024
04:44 PM GDT