I am flying at 35,000 feet, on my way to Des Moines, Iowa. The clouds below are spotted through the sky casting shadows on the midwest farmlands below. If I looked for long enough, or from a higher altitude than this plane will reach, I suspect I could see patterns in the clouds. The seemingly random has order.
Nature is ordered. Living systems organize themselves. This has been a primary framework for me since the early 1990s working with Margaret Wheatley. This is one of the concepts I hope to explore with a team that I’m meeting today for the first time face to face. It is a group of eleven from the Grinnell United Church of Christ.
They are “Strategic Discernment Stewards,” brought together for what is a six month strategy creation process through participative leadership. They are the group that will get the first wave of how we work together so as to help support the second wave which will take place this fall with a larger group of people. The stewards are the group that will also reconvene after the fall event to help share learnings and support a participative culture of accomplishment.
I’m reminded by Meg and coauthor, Myron Kellner-Rogers in their book, A Simpler Way,
“There is a simpler way to organize human endeavor. It requires a new way of being in the world. It requires being in the world without fear. Being in the world with play and creativity. Seeking after what’s possible. Being willing to learn to be surprised.
This simpler way to organize human endeavor requires a belief that the world is inherently orderly. The world seeks organization. It does not need us humans to organize it.
The simpler way summons forth what is best about us. It asks us to understand human nature differently, more optimistically. It identifies us as creative. It acknowledges that we seek after meaning. It asks us to be less serious, yet more purposeful, about our work and our lives. It does not separate play from the nature of being.”