Have you ever become caught up in something? A moment? A lie? A deadline? Trying to write a speech? To the extent that you’ve forgotten what really matters to you? It feels like that has happened on a global scale, and it is time to take a breath, look around, and reconnect with what really matters. When we are able to process what our core values are as communities that are connected by international systems, and able to talk through the differences we are likely to have, that is when we will have a form of leadership capable of nuance, compassion, and gratitude. This is the hope that Create Seven gives me.
In 2007, the new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary introduced new words such as ‘broadband’ while others, describing the natural world, disappeared. Whilst the dictionary is designed to reflect the current frequency of the words used by children, the philosopher AJ Ayer has pointed out that unless we have a word for something, we are unable to conceive it. ‘The Lost Words’, published in 2017, is a book written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris which seeks to gently, but firmly, restore the missing words. In the recent ‘Storytelling for Change’ workshop ‘The Lost Words’ was used as one of the inspirations for our own storytelling. Here is one of the stories which unfolded at the workshop.
I was impressed to see how powerfully the approach of this project - which I see in part, as a synthesis of management techniques, mindfulness techniques and environmental consciousness - worked in the real world. What a diverse group of people and what interesting results. It was revealing to be able to see the various topics and exercises from the different viewpoints of an IT manager, a Bohm dialogue facilitator, a business psychologist and so on – and who can forget the special bond that developed between the activist and the construction managers!
One of our own Create Seven team, Jill, was keen to be a participant and have the full experience of ‘connecting with nature’ during the last Discovering New Leadership module in July. ‘Connecting with nature’ enables us to learn from elements of nature (rather than about nature) in terms of its form (what it looks like), it’s processes (how it survives and grows) and it’s ecosystems (how it lives with aspects of nature) to inform own leadership development.