Cutting Through

Somebody called today with a situation, an opening, a “better-than-zero” chance to propose a plan to take an old bureaucratic program to a new level using Open Space Technology. What to do?

I referred him back to the four questions from the Inviting Philanthropy post two days ago, re-framed a little bit into the context of him going to his boss and boss’s boss to inquire:

  • What do you want (to see in the world, or in the program)?
  • What do we already have (what’s working, what to keep and grow)?
  • What do you need (to have, or see, or show, to support a shift)?
  • What are you willing to do (approve, support) if you get what you need?

I suggested he make his own list. Run through it with his boss, adding the boss’s list to this. Then take it higher up to check their list against the chief. If nothing else, these four questions cut through a lot of potential crap. And saves my buddy from busting it on a proposal that goes nowhere.

Meanwhile, I see these four could be the very active punchline to the Inviting Leadership story that Corrigan and I are cooking:

  • Embracing Heart: What do we really want? Do something that matters.
  • Inviting Focus: What do we have to work with? Find a place to start from.
  • Supporting Flow: What do you need? Ask and offer the things that make the difference.
  • Making Good: What will you do? Got what you needed. Good. Use it. Do something.

My favorite place of action just now, by the way, is a new blogging project for Chicago Conservation Corps. Oh yes, and wedding planning… T: -1 weekend and counting. Blogged our organic wedding cake bakery today over there at C3. Yum!