I'm thinking about...
I first came across the Cynefin Framework during my research at Massey, then later I signed up for a Masterclass with Dave Snowden in NZ. In truth, it was the shortened definition of Cynefin [kuh-NEV-in] that first resonated with me: “Place of Your Multiple Belongings”.
I’m a Persian by descent, a diaspora by circumstance; schooling was in England, met & married a pakeha kiwi in Scotland & my first career was engineering!
Cynefin spoke to my heart & mind differently to other decision making frameworks.
The book, “Cynefin: weaving sense-making into the fabric of our world” (2020) and now the Field Guide, “Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis” (2021) are generous offerings for those seeking new & different ways of working together.
If not now, then when?
The T.S.Eliot quote closes the Field Guide & this paragraph (p.66) really resonated for me:
“The need to act in concert, to work together, is key but that working together recognises what, from a complexity science perspective, we would call requisite diversity. We don’t want to homogenise but to create coherent heterogeneity, or the ability to come together in common need for common purpose without the loss of what made us distinctive in the first place.”
In my experience, done well, it's mana enhancing for all.
Recently I've had a number of conversations that have reminded me there are some elements of Collaboration and Collaborative Leadership that are not 'obvious'- so we need to be more explicit. I get it, I immerse myself in the research & it took me years to begin to put words around the ideas, which are continually evolving - but not everyone is geeky in this field!
So, because I'm on a mission to grow a collaborative movement that delivers shared value - I am going to offer here some of the ideas that we continue to explore and debate in my workshops with regard to Collaboration and Collaborative Leadership.
Here is the first: An edict to collaborate doth not collaboration make!
Write it as an org value, in a mission/vision/ purpose statement, in a strategy document, in legislation/regulation, policy or whatever...but that ain't going to change anything. We have to take the time needed to consider what might be the shared interest area we want to collaborate on together.
Simple. But often I see folk going round & round in circles on this & going nowhere. Things will evolve, but we need to be agreed on what we're working on together at any given point - otherwise at best we're information sharing & more often just critiquing each other's work.
Collaborative Leaders create spaces where discourse of ideas can happen safely. All the voices are heard and regularly it gets "messy". But it's always a joy to see how out of the "messy", gems of ideas come to the surface and solutions emerge, together.
This takes effort and intentionality. It's not easy.
As a facilitator of such spaces, often I struggle - mostly "in" myself.
Am I good enough? Will I be able to support this group as they need? And so on...
Recently I arrived in the regions the day before facilitating an important hui, after an early start a bit tired and carrying the weight of all of it on my shoulders. I met some of the team and we set up for the morning. Then, I went to my unit to rest and prepare.
I took time to review the process I had developed (it works!) and I showed up.
All this takes Courage and a readiness to embrace Vulnerability.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing. It's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.
The first thing I heard was: "You look so different!" Clearly something in me had shifted.
The mind is the first Chakra - Muladhara Chakra. In " The Language of Yin", my yoga teacher Gabrielle Harris reminds us of the following affirmations for this chakra:
We gathered, it got a bit messy and this reminded me to keep inquiring and listening.
The mana, generosity and wisdom was abundant...I have the privilege to work with some exceptional humans - I am in awe of their abilities and hearts of service.
They helped me and each other and the gems of ideas flowed and as I arrived at the airport after a long 48 hours, I picked up a text that said "lovely to share your mauri" 😀
Nazanin Jenkin is a Persian Kiwi - a Persian by decent and a diaspora by circumstance. She lives in New Zealand; along with her husband of thirty years and two surviving, adult children.