The Inviting Organization Emerges in the Territory
Fairbanks, Alaska lies near the center of a really BIG piece of territory. If you head out of town the wrong way, especially at night, you can drive a very long way before you figure that out. For this reason, our driver, a careful sort of Bostonian visitor, refused to leave the driveway of our dinner hosts until we’d located the right map. Easier said than done, however, as the car was littered with the maps people had been drawing for him all week.
By the time we did finally locate the one that would lead us to our place of lodging, the windows of the car were heavily fogged. It was the middle of April, thirty-three degrees, and midnight. The ground still snow-covered, the sky black like crazy, no moon in sight. A steady rain was turning to snow and the roads were turning to ice.
With the windows still fully fogged, our driver eased back out of the driveway and idled slowly up the street, defroster blazing and blowing. The fog cleared quickly, everywhere except right in front of our driver, who began fiddling with the defroster in frustration. “I can’t see where I’m going!” he complained. I looked over at my friend Chris and buckled my seatbelt.
Then I looked at the windshield and laughed, “Well, actually,” I said, “you can see where you are going OR you can see where you are going… And since the map is not the territory, why don’t you give ME the map and YOU stick to the territory.” Leaning over then, I snatched the map from the dashboard, clearing the defroster vent, and the window quickly cleared. I tossed the map on the seat and we headed out into the Alaskan darkness.
Maps, you see, are important for two reasons. First, they give us the comfort we need to get out of the driveway and on our way. And second, they sit there on the seat until such time as we might need them to reorient ourselves in suddenly unfamiliar territory. This “circles and arrows” map of evolution in organization does the same. It gives us some comfort as we get out into Open Space and helps us re-orient and understand what is going on, once we’re out there in the territory.
Click here for the map explained and/or the territory observed. The territory bit is the newest addition to the OpenSpaceTech wiki archive.