Wonderful group of people has gathered in Croatia, Opatija 05 - 07 July 2017 to learn, practice and explore what is new and special in Participatory Leadership (PL) and how can it help us to be the leaders we want to be. All together 29 people from 20 different organizations and 7 countries created magic together. Even if we know magic always happens when people come together with clear purpose of learning and engaging in meaningful conversation around questions that matter, it was great to experience it in this learning journey. It was special to sense that right after welcoming and framing and good checking in and sharing individual motivation, suddenly we saw what collectively brought us here and sense of belonging, trust, inspiration and curiosity around what we can create together emerged between us... If it happens so easy and fast and strong and beautifully with the group of people that didn't know each other before and came there with different reasons and different backgrounds (HR specialists, sales directors, managers, consultants, regional and executive directors, software engineers, quality managers, marketing specialists, entrepreneurs, coaches, etc.), and have brought very diverse organizational cultures and work context (corporate, private sector, public administration, NGO), how can it be that we struggle with talking and listening to each other and finding meaningful solutions in our "regular" work where we are day by day present with our colleagues and partners and clients and other stakeholders? How can it be that we are looking for the ways to bring back sense of belonging, trust, respect and inspiration to engage around what makes sense and is important to us? Is it time to see our organizations as living systems and take responsibility to support / facilitate / host the change and transformation which is normal and happens constantly in every living system ...? Participatory leadership and hosting and harvesting meaningful conversation can help us to move from old understanding and rules that does not work any longer. It can helps us to create safe space for learning, transformation, development and doing our work in more natural and more meaningful way... so let's practice together!!!
This harvesting site is structured around training headlines per days with intention to reconstruct the flow and process of our learning. It contains photos of people and flipcharts/papers created by hosting team and participants. Hope it will remind you on tangible and intangible outcomes and it will become useful resource for your practice and further learning.
Why PL in business and organizational context?
Welcome and framing
Opening words and what was our invitation and purpose that brought us all here (Jasmina), participatory work and art of hosting background (Jan), leadership input - lead from where you are (Cate).
Leadership culture and Four fold practice
Cate offered perspective of different leadership cultures: dependant, independant and interdependant and in what kind of organisations they fit and why. Leaders who are keen to see their organisations work along Teal practices, need to role model the behaviours associated with: self-management, wholeness and purpose. Participatory leadership methods support these practices and can accelerate the progress forward. It was hard to stop conversation in the circle around what works in our organisations and what kind of purpose they have and why some leadership culture work and why not. It was so obvious people are "hungry" for conversation about leadership, what works and why and what is our "leadership dream".
First mental model which we offered in this training was "For fold practice" (Jasmina). In order to become learners and move toward community of learners and community that learns, we have to develop consciousness about different roles in implementation of participatory leadership practices. Roles which are more folds or perspectives of the same approach where all of them have to blend together and when being engaged in the process, they have to come in front of our organizational positions or business functions. Being truly present (hosting yourself), engaging skilfully in conversations (participating), being a good host of conversations (hosting others) and engaging with others in co-creation (co-hosting) are all practices or skills that are easily understood, but it takes continuous practice to sharpen and enhance these skills. This is the essence of the "art of hosting" and basic practice underneath all methodologies and tools which we use in PL approach. Four fold practice input was used also to invite participants to step into the hosting practice during the training - hosting matrix was offered as a place to sign in!
Change is not strange...!!
Closing day 1 + Preparation for hosting on day 2
After closing of world cafe, day hosts (Jan and Jasmina) shared some evening news (Choco crash invitation, preparation for hosting tomorrow) and closed our day 1. All people who signed up for hosting gathered around landscape to understand the purpose of next day and how their parts fit into the training design.