The Rise of Horizontal Trust

When hierarchies break down or fail us, horizontal trust tends to emerge. A hierarchy is a vertical form of organisation. Armies are hierarchies. Many religious systems are hierarchies. Families are hierarchies. In vertical hierarchies, power increases at highly levels. Often (but not always), accountability also is higher the higher up you go. In a bank,…

Let Go

He was full of anger and his friends told him to let it go He was full of regret and his teacher told him to let it go He was full of guilt and his brother told him to let it go He was full of fear and his guide told him to let it…

This is the age when the old become young

It’s become a bit of a cliche to say that children are growing up more and more quickly. Our education system is engaged in an ideological battle between the idea that we should allow children to stay children for as long as possible, and the idea that we need to get them ready for adult…

Quotes

When you write for a lot of years, some of your words, phrases nd sentences stand out more than others. In the real of social media you sometimes find your work quoted by other people and you also pull out some of your personal favourite lines for yourself or to humble share with the world…

Short Story: The Invitation

A Short Story by Paul Levy Part 1 Bethlehem, about 2000 years ago You don’t weave baskets in the evening, let alone late at night. There isn’t the light and it just isn’t done. Tomorrow, my mother, her two sisters and my own sister will sit in the cool shade, working their craft, and from…

Advocacy and Enquiry – a First Look

A colleague of mine, Pete Burden, recently led a session at a conference in Slovenia on Advocacy and Enquiry. When we advocate, we assert, we “put out”, we say stuff. In meetings where there is a lot of advocacy, there aren’t many questions. A lot of the questions are actually more advocacy dressed up as questions;…

Notes from a Conversation about Wretched Contentment

A Group Conversation In this 90-minute conversation, we explored whether the performing arts has become a safe, comfort zone and whether this limits our career and personal life opportunities. The session took place at DandD14 on Sunday at 3pm. (Devoted and Disgruntled is an annual open space conference in the UK organised and hosted by…

Sleeping on Decisions

A Wise Approach to Group Decision Making I know we’re all supposed to be busy. Somehow busyness has become equated with effectiveness which has an Alice-in-Wonderland feel to it, yet too many people have still bought this pup. We need to get to decisions “quickly”; an effective meeting is one where decisions are reached, where…

Involutionary Brainstorming

What is it? Brainstorming is the rapid pooling of all and any ideas that a group of people can come up with before any discussion or judgement takes place. Every idea is recorded no matter how bizarre or irrational. Enable individuals and groups to: · Problem Solve · Evaluate How to Brainstorm 1.      Keep a…

Community is Naturally Obvious and Obviously Natural

We tend to over-complicate Life. Yet the core of any community is a circle. We need only sit together in a circle and open some space for conversation and collaboration with minimal fuss. Often we go into phone, text and email overload when all that is needed is to meet at the same time in…

What is conversation really about?

So much of our conversation is about what we advocate to each other. We speak, they speak. Our turn to say something, their turn to say something. It is usually transactional. Like a game of tennis, we take turns. Often someone wins the point. Sometimes the rallies are long and we tire ourselves out! Our…