Life on earth can be really difficult at times, which is when we most need the most imaginative ways to bring hope and possibility.
Human imagination is an amazing thing. We’re able to bring together thinking and ideas from all kinds of places, people, and times, and makes something utterly different.
Frans Johansson writes about intersectional thinking, when we’re able to mix up ideas, visit different places, explore unfamiliar sources, meet new people who are different to us:
‘Can you make your environment more collision prone?’*
We see some practical examples of this in Theory U’s empathy walks (allowing us to step inside the experiences of another), stakeholder interviews (allowing people to more deeply explore the relationships they already have), and field trips (which allow people to visit a business, community, or some work of interest to them – ideally for at least a day).**
Collisions equal exposure to new thoughts and ideas.^ Off the peg just won’t make for a better future.
‘You’ll never stumble on the unexpected if you stick only to the familiar.’^^
Tribal Leadership authors Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright argue that tribes are how we live – societies being made up of many, many tribes. Basically these exhibit five kinds of “tribeness.”
The first tribe claims “Life sucks” – they can’t see much good in life (these people are mostly in prisons and gangs). Then there’re those who claim “My life sucks” – the corollary being that the lives of others don’t. After this there are those who hold that “My life is great” – the following corollary then is, “But yours isn’t.” In the fourth tribe people begin to say “We’re great” – though there’s still a corollary, now “The tribe over there isn’t great.” The fifth tribe, though, have found a way of connecting both within and without their group to be able to say “Life is great” – they’re ready to tackle the big enemies facing the world: poverty, illiteracy, disease, environmental concerns.*^
New encounters and new experiences lead to new language which comes with: ‘the distinctive power, the capacity to speak in ways that evoke newness’^* Language is important because its the vehicle by which we move relationships and ideas forward.
By this time, we’re becoming infinite players:
‘Every move an infinite player makes is toward the horizon. Every move made by a finite player is within a boundary.’`*
I’ll never reach the horizon; it always is out there, calling me. If I keep moving towards it, I’ll eventually return to where I began and know it differently – in a larger way. Though the aim is not to return, but to keep journeying: wherever I am, I can rotate 360 degrees and look upon a different horizon at any point.
“What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.”`^
Our curiosity leads us. Questions provide us with purchase we need to push forward. Questions that open our minds, open our hearts, and then open our wills. Big, open, beautiful questions.`*^
(*From Frans Johansson’s The Click Moment. I use the acronym of TEESA to keep before me the need to read around technology, environment, entrepreneurship, society, and arts.)
(**See Otto Scharmer’s Theory U.)
(^Perhaps a different lens through which to reflect on the UK’s stay in or leave the European Union on grounds of migration? Instead of seeing migration as being the problem, what if we could use migration to find the imaginative solutions to why people are dispersed around the world?)
(^^From Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc..)
(*^See Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright’s Tribal Leadership.)
(^*From Walter Brueggemann’s The Prophetic Imagination.)
(`*From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)
(`^Jonas Salk, quoted in Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit.)
(`*^In her Udemy course, Krista Tippett claims that to ask a beautiful question elects a beautiful answer, a generous question elicits a generous answer.)