I did a guest post for Pegasus Communications last week, providing an appetizer for my book. Below is a slightly longer version — with examples restored. If you’re looking for a taste of what it’s about, read on.
What would it mean if we knew how to face challenging situations with a high likelihood of achieving breakthrough outcomes?
EXTRACT: Since the early nineties, I’ve sought to understand how we turn difficult, often conflicted issues into transformative leaps of renewed commitment and achievement. I’ve used whole system change practices — methods that engage the diverse people of a system in creating innovative and lasting shifts in effectiveness. I’ve co-convened conferences around ambitious societal questions like: What does it mean to do journalism that matters for our communities and democracy? And I’ve delved into the science of complexity, chaos, and emergence – in which order arises out of chaos – to better understand human systems. In the process, I have noticed some useful patterns, practices, and principles for engaging the natural forces of emergent change. Here are a few highlights:
All change begins with disruption.
Engaging disruption creatively helps us discover differences that make a difference.
Wise, resilient systems coalesce when the needs of individuals and the whole are served.
EXTRACT: The practice of collective reflection helps surface what matters to individuals and the whole. It can generate unexpected breakthroughs containing what is vital to each and all of us.
EXTRACT: Joel de Rosnay, author of The Symbiotic Man, introduced the notion of “the macroscope”. Just as microscopes help us to see the infinitely small and telescopes help us to see the infinitely large, macroscopes help us to see the infinitely complex.
Peggy Holman knows a lot about change in organizations and communities and she wrote Engaging Emergence to help people not only deal with unexpected and chaotic change, but even come out ahead by engaging it proactively.
But proactive engagement means letting go of some things just as much as discovering new things. To help you navigate, Peggy presents her list of The Five Things We Need To Let Go Of To Effectively Deal With Emergence:
Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity is almost here…I’m excited to share the news that my book will ship from the printer on August 6th.
To get that buzz going, I’m asking everyone I know to help me get the book off to a fast start! Please consider picking up a copy of the book, perhaps even ordering a second copy as a gift for a friend. Or forward this message on to people you think would find the book of interest so that they can pre-order a copy for themselves.
I’m thrilled with how the book turned out. Esthetically, it is beautiful. And based on the feedback from many of you, people are finding the content useful and inspiring. I look forward to your feedback.
Engaging Emergence offers principles, practices, and real-word stories for bringing compassion, creativity, and wisdom to the entire arc of change-from disruption to coherence. For more about the contents, click here.
Thank you again for your support — of me and of the book.
Phi Beta Iota: Peggy Holman is one of the top grass-roots leadership and self-organization gurus in the USA, and easily among the top 100 in the world.She may be the most active practitioner of Open Space Technology as conceived by Harrison Owen.
Peggy Holman convenes conversations that matter using generative processes that call forth the best of who people are and can be to unleash the energy and wisdom to move dreams to action, resulting in more resilient, agile, collaborative and alive people and systems. The second edition of her book, The Change Handbook (Berrett-Koehler, 2007), has been warmly received as an aid to people in reinventing their organizations and communities. Peggy has an MBA from Seattle University. See www.opencirclecompany.com.
Utterly Phenomenal: *The* Book for Living Life to the Fullest,
January 27, 2007
EDIT of 9 Feb 09 to add links (capability not available at the time) and to commit to attending NEXUS II in Bowling Green, OH 30 Mar – 1 Apr 08.
I could spend the rest of my life trying to learn, use, and share each of the methods in this book, and never finish. When it was first published in 1999, it was before its time. Now, in 2006, this is a book made for our times, when Burning Man is now Green Man, Al Gore is a rock star, and even the greediest Wall Street CEO is starting to realize the party is over and we have to get real, real fast.
I have been an admirer of Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) and a champion of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and have gradually learned about other “opens” that are coming to the fore: Open Spectrum, Open Access, Open Culture, Open Innovation, and of course George Soros’ Open Society. From this book I now add Open Circle, to complement the Open Space concept I learned recently in Seattle’s Town Hall while listening to Paul Hawken talk about the World Index for Social and Environmental Responsibility.
I have to confess that this book is over-whelming, and I can barely scratch the surface. This is more of a book where you should read one author, one segment, each night, and fall asleep thinking about how to implement that one small section, how to embrace someone else and engage them with that one method.
Having three teen-agers, all three of whom have completely rejected the prison/child care format and the rote learning objectives of the current school system (even as good as it is in Fairfax County) I will go so far as to say that this book, combined with serious games/games for change, is a complete one-to-one substitute for our current educational process.
Everything in here is what we *should* have learned in school, what we *should* be practicing in fulfilling our civic duty (what we *actually* do is described in “The Cheating Culture,” “Confessional of an Economic Hit-Man,” and “Rogue Nation”).
I am moving quickly and heavily into the intersection of Collective Intelligence (see my reviews of “The Tao of Democracy,” “Smart Mobs,” “Wisdom of the Crowds,” or my longer list; and Natural Capitalism with its “true cost” meme. See my reviews of Paul Hawken et al, “Ecology of Commerce” and “Natural Capitalism,” of the varied books by Herman Daly, and soon, my reviews of “The Great Turning,” the “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and others. For a broader sense of the possibilities, check out “Earth Intelligence Network” online.
I still have the 1970’s operating manual for spaceship earth someplace in my lower library. This book is the manual for spaceship earth for our children and those of us recommiting ourselves to the joy of learning and changing in our later years. It’s not over until *we* decide its over.