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…

Stories of Open Space 8 – Open Space in a Circus Tent

This was a wonderful opportunity to make use of the over-hundred year old Bosco Tent which often travels to festivals around the world with the even more famous Spiegeltent. This was a gathering of the World Fringe Netwrk who invited Fringe Festivals from around the United Kingdom to explore how they might connect and collaborate…

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…

Dance of Breathing 2 – a pure improvisation activity

Purpose of the Activity  This is a standalone activity but can be linked to Dance of Breathing 1. This breathing improvisation explores the effect others have on us, particularly exploring closeness and vicinity.It also can be used to explore status, difference and diversity, as well as the simplicity of play. Process Work in pairs. The…

The Golden Value of Confusion

Confusion can be a wonderful thing. It is a state of mind that most people don’t enjoy, and certainly don’t want to stay in for very long. Confusion can paralyse us from action. We can get lost in it, slowed down by it, depressed by it. Yet it is also possible to be excited by…

An exercise in falling into impro

Purpose of the activity Many facilitators of improvisation work with the metaphors of “energising” a group or “ice-breaking” early on at a workshop. A friend of mine, Jack Martin Leith critique ice-breakers because they assume there is “ice” – people in a default state of coldness, stuckness, and that they need “un-freezing”. I agree with…

Ego and the Small Business

Here’s a paradox: It is ego that often launches a successful new business, realising the vision of a single individual or small group and turning into an energetic, fast growth enterprise. It is also ego that can kill off a struggling business, stopping it from changing, recovering and redefining itself. Without the strong will, focus…

My Own Definition of Conscious Business

  “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”  Carl Jung This is very much a work in  progress – an emerging set of notes. I’m going to define Conscious Business in a way that is different to  most in this field. Consciousness arises from suffering. Now, bear with me for a moment on that…