conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

What Thinking Together Looks Like

with 2 comments

Hint: Don’t picture a straightjacket for your brain or tongue

A few days back I quoted William Paul Young who said he wrote “to create and open space, not to reduce it.” Today Seth Godin posted practical, context-building questions that help move clients away from the “I’ll know it when I see it” notion that is anathema to any creative person.

I was reminded of a long, involved eleven-step process that lurked in a space between marketing and communication in a big medical device firm I worked for some time ago. The process was the Communication Director’s darling and had a lot going for it in the sense that it was orderly and helped set priorities. But the order and priority-setting locked all participants (of which where dozens) into endless recurring meetings and production of PowerPoint decks to present to each other. Again and again. The process helped us move forward at the beginning but eventually the process itself took over and became an end in itself. I observed that smart, competent and innovative people started clamming up in these process meetings because the process itself dictated what we could say and when we could say it.

Both Young and Godin rely on something like intuition as they give priority to human relationships to help create environs the invite us to think together. I believe this process of opening-up—all while keeping your eye on your goal—is what gives us space to do our best work.

And there is no formula for that.


Image Credit: via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

November 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Kirk I liked this.

    This really speaks to the balance that is necessary with a team in terms of process versus outcomes! Noreen

    DCMC Today

    November 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

    • Thanks for the comment. Working with a process is never a cookie-cutter approach because of the human factors. How to marry humanity and process is an ongoing question.


      November 29, 2012 at 10:04 am

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