Possibility Conversations

(Note to audience today’s blog is a mind wander, not a coherent story – yet)

I had been having a bit of a struggle these last few weeks with a myriad of tasks that I’ve promised to clients and I noticed my internal conversation with these tasks was one of duty and necessity, which generated a heavy feeling in my body and heart. Then in two sparkling hours I had conversations with University colleagues and the world of possibilities opened up again. After these conversations I noticed a lightness and joy in my body and heart and the other tasks didn’t seem so hard anymore because they are only one part of my work life, not the whole of it. For me, possibility and new ideas are as essential as food and water (and chocolate).

Again this morning I had a different sort of conversation with CTSC colleague Linda Yaven about turning possibilities into some form of documented reality i.e an idea for a product or service. She even came up with an attractive metaphor for how to start – mapping out the landscape – yes, I can see the high peaks and murky valleys and twisty windy roads in my mind already.

Now I’m reading her latest article – Innovation as Community Conversation – which really resonates because it describes the effect on me of these different conversations – excitement that we are building new creative futures through the possibility conversations we are having together.

Among the many pearls of sparkling wisdom in Linda’s article (which as an ideas bowerbird I love to collect) I was intrigued with a comment about Wittgenstein: “He emphasizes looking at language as application, that is, the idea that there is no one meaning to a word – it is all context.”

As a consultant this is something I grapple with – that it’s not about how much I know about what works, what is relevant is whether it will be workable for the next client. It is also one of the many reasons why I love the Solution Focused Approach, because it has given me tools and a conversational approach to find words to help clients describe the “functionality” they want whether it be in processes or in human interaction.

Linda has another approach – making thinking visible – in which I seem to have an unconscious competence. Additionally, through my connections with Ralph Kerle and the CTSC, I have been building my “skills bower” to include a number of arts-based processes for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic audiences.

My new mantra is “fit for purpose” – or is that just another manifestation of my ongoing fascination with design (form follows function) and one of the reasons I was attracted to conversations with Linda, because she learned about design in the arts context but is now successfully applying it my space – the education context.

Wow, the possibilities are endless!

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Linda Yaven

    Appreciations, Sharon.

    Yes – you’re spot on!!!

    In these collaborative days, when we are somehow or other immersed in working with others, sensitivity to “context” – theirs, ours and the one where we (continuing our landscape metaphor) design “fused horizons” – is a central practice, professionally and personally.

    We each find ourselves in what I think of as “communication eco-systems”, entrusted with their care and sustainability.

    Kind regards,

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