Latest from the Wayne Oates Institute
Tending the Garden through the Eyes of a Cancer Patient
As I concluded my last article on “Transformation Starts with the Questions We Ask,” I realized that I needed to add a second part. The first article is rather academic and organizational. What I saw at the end of that article was how it was applicable on a very personal level as a cancer patient. I noticed that a significant positive effort that I use toward achieving my preferred future (a full, productive, and meaningful life for as long as I have the opportunity) is the questions that I ask and where I ask them. What are changes that I can make that might influence movement in the direction I seek to go? Who can help me with this? How do I mobilize all of my resources to energize my life and the lives of those around me?
- Published: 15 August 2012
Transformation Starts with the Questions We Ask
In his book, Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block (2008) suggests that "questions are more transformative than answers... They are the means by which we are all confronted with our freedom. Questions create the space for something new to emerge..... Answers, especially those that respond to our need for quick results, while satisfying, shut down the discussion, and the future shuts down with them" (p. 103). He goes on to observe that,"What makes us impatient with questions and hungry for answers is that we confuse exploring a question with talk that has no meaning—argument, analysis, explanation, and defense—talk that leaves us despairing about ... coming together to create something" (p. 103).
- Published: 27 July 2012
Working the Pizza: Reading the System
I was a college freshman in 1970 when Buckminster Fuller held his left hand up in front of us and asked us what we saw. I was an engineering student in a design class called the World Game. Like everyone else, I saw a left hand. I missed the metaphor and the reality. What Bucky Fuller saw was a complex system in constant flux integrated with other complex systems. I got my first lesson in seeing the big picture, the complexities of relationships, influences, and interdependencies of organic, mechanical, and organizational systems. I also got my first lesson in how systems work to maintain pattern integrity through creative adaptation to change. It was a transformative moment for me.
- Published: 27 June 2012