Inviting Leadership is... the Conscious Practice of Making It Easier, for People Who Care, to Take Informed Action, on Issues and Opportunities that Matter, in any kind of Corporate or Community organization. (Do you need a moment to read that again?) It's the product of 20+ years of development, practice, teaching, coaching and consultation -- not a theory about what should work, but the story of what has worked -- with clients and colleagues all around the world.
OpenSpaceTechnology is the ground where a number of theories, methods, and experiences were first recognized and connected as Inviting Leadership. Open Space has been called meeting methodology, organization transformation, intentional self-organization and surfing the chaos. Since Harrison Owen pointed it out, more than 20 years ago, Open Space has enabled all kinds of people, in every kind of organization and community, to create inspired meetings and events -- and to post phenomenal business results.
All true, but how can we do this everyday, this practice? How can we sustain these results? And how does this fit with other methods and practices?
InvitingOrganization is the roadmap we developed to answer these questions and explain where our conscious and active practice of Open Space Technology seemed to be taking us. This cut through a certain amount of discomfort with the increasingly turbulent evolution of organization and community life. Inviting Organization is a story for understanding organization and leadership in times of rapid change and uncertainty. It's what showed up when we practiced Open Space in organization, over and over again, what we now call Inviting Leadership.
InvitingPractice was the obvious next step. It's literally what we did, around the world, with the InvitingOrganization story. The shock of 9/11 woke us up to the need to do and share what we’d been learning about inviting and organization. We taught Open Space Technology as the skillful practice of invitation -- significantly informed by Appreciative Inquiry, Zapchen Somatics, Asset-Based Community Development, World Cafe, Search Conference and Participative Design, Social Computing, Integral Theory, and a number of other methods (and practices). We invited leaders to invite more leadership -- by opening, inviting, supporting, and making more of "what's working," more of what's best. More Life.
Now what? What comes after the practice, the mapping, and the teaching?
Inviting Leadership -- the book? That was the guess (or the fear) for a couple of years, but producing the manuscript was never as satisfying -- or important -- as doing the practice. That said, every so often, something new happens. Somebody else nudges me along. I agree to write something. And, against all odds, another bit of the story gets written down. InvitingLeadership/MainWritings is an archive for that work.
And in the meantime...
Inviting Community is an exploration sprung from a personal move -- after 15 years -- from the 11th floor of a box full of house boxes, to an 80-year old bungalow, on the west bank of the Chicago River, on a quiet neighborhood street. So far, InvitingCommunity shows up as neighborhood potluck dinners, community gardening and river trail workdays, neighborhood association, an online experiment at [ManorNeighbors.com], and work with a number of community organization clients.