How do we learn to thrive in complexity, discover our unique contribution and together step into the emerging future?
ART OF PARTICIPATORY LEADERSHIP TRAINING organized by SenseTribe on 27 September – 7 October 2021
As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.
New types of leadership are required for these times. The pandemic, fake news and our rising awareness of complex issues like the climate crisis require us to step into different ways of seeing and organizing. How can we prepare ourselves and our organizations for a future that is yet to be revealed?
We are being called to actively participate and contribute to our challenging and complex times so we become stronger, wiser and more interconnected. We as individuals, and the organizations we are part of, need to find new ways to practice being in and with complexity as an ongoing reality. Ways of leading that can navigate the unknown, embrace plurality, and be present to what no longer serves us. The way we step into relationships, build and nurture trust within ourselves and between us directly impacts our ability to collectively face the challenges of the future. Our work is both interior, within ourselves, and exterior, with and for our organizations, communities and networks.
Complexity invites us to be learning and unlearning – both individually and collectively – as a core capacity for these times. In the spirit of learning as leadership, we are inviting the SenseTribe community to deepen our collective capacity to be leaderful learners in these times and step into the ‘Art of Participatory Leadership’.
Combining Communications, Creativity and ParticipatoryProcesses for Maximum Collaborator and Customer Engagement
Have you or your team ever experienced tensions when designing a project? This can happen when you and your partners or colleagues are creating a concept or brand, or developing a new idea or initiative. In this article we will address how to combine participatory processes, communications strategies and creative industries to maximise impact.
There are different methodologies and practices that support the collaborative creation (Co-creation) process. These practices can be applied in any type of project involving more than one team, department and/or stakeholder. But what is co-creation about?
Co-Creation: A two-way, open and dialectical process of interaction, collaboration and knowledge sharing between a firm and its stakeholders, whereby the participating parties engage in a dialogue to jointly define and solve problems in a shared distributive environment. IGI Global
Adding a co-creation process in the design of a communications campaign strategy will make a difference in the commitment, deliverables and assertivity to achieve the desired goals. It is important to keep in mind that this process requires an innovative way of thinking that benefits everyone involved.
This means that some of the initial assumptions may be confirmed and others may be redefined. In order to add co-creation to our communications services, at SenseTribe we created a 3-phase process: 1. Strategy Co-creation; 2. Media content production and 3. Promotional activation.
Phase 1: Strategy Co-creation
During this participatory process, we team up with your team to address the collective needs and explore the potential of the team’s collectiveintelligence. In this phase we will identify the real needs of the project and define its goals, target audience, key messages, required media content as well as how we will communicate about it. The co-creation process will ensure all voices are heard and taken into consideration, enriching the quality of your communication strategy.
Phase 2: Media Content Production
At this stage we apply our expertise in creative industries. Based on the outcomes of phase 1, we co-create the creative concept together with your team and clarify what the best ways to present the project are. We start producing content bearing in mind what your team has defined as priorities. The media content for the campaign may include websites, videos, animations, magazines, guides, infographics etc. It is important to have a clear understanding of the audience of your initiative, this way we can optimise resources by creating high-quality communications products that will ensure the message is true to the project and ideal to engage the target audience.
Phase 3: Promotional Activation
Now it is time to reach out to your audience, communicate about your project across different channels as defined in phase 1 of the process. These channels can include newsletters, Webpages, organic and paid activation on social media and offline actions focusing on marketing and relationships. Usually this phase may take place alongside the previous one. For example, while we are working on developing the media content we can already start social media or email communications around the project.
We at SenseTribe are a dedicated team working to help you achieve your goals. Check here for more content about collaborative creation and familiarise yourself with the way we work. Feel free to contact us, we are happy to join you on your next journey.
Before embarking on the journey of providing others with guidance for a process of transformation, we need to prepare ourselves in order to make sure we are stable enough to stay standing and not be eradicated when the “winds of change” will come.
This simple but crucial idea is one of the key concepts of Art of Hosting and one of my favourite practices to transmit when giving training or capacity-building sessions to teams preparing to host participatory processes at SenseTribe.
This practice is called “The Fourfold practice”. However evident it might seem in its essence, it takes a slow and deep process of introspection to really understand it. In order to really embrace this practice one needs to go beyond traditional paradigms of learning and approach it in a non-linear way that leaves room for intuition. The intuition will lead the way through the fractality of all living beings (and structures) and will enable the magic of the hosting process to happen.
“I love to see the fourfold practices like a kaleidoscope, with four different lenses which are brought together to create a whole, and what we discovered is that even though there are four lenses it’s a fractal so every lens has the other lenses in it. That’s the pattern of it, when we share it with people it can sound linear. It is not linear and when you’re learning you might need to dissect it and play with it so that you can learn it. But the real power comes from the interconnectivity of the lenses”.
If you want to host conversations that really matter, you first need to dive into the depths of your being and connect with your inner truth, and this can sometimes involve a painful and drawn-out process.
Be clear about what you need and what your personal contribution to the circle can be. Take a quiet moment to breathe in order to focus on the present. Make space to dedicate time for listening and speaking. Invite all the participants in the meeting to be present.
2. Participate and practice conversation
Listen with attention and speak with intention
Conversation is an art. It demands that we listen carefully to one another and that we offer our contributions to serve the whole. Join the conversation with curiosity and without judgment. Curiosity and judgement cannot live together in the same space. The art of conversation is the art of slowing down in order to speed up.
3. Host conversations
Be courageous, inviting and willing to initiate conversations that matter, and then make sure you harvest the answers, insights, learnings and wise actions…
Hosting conversations is not quite the same as facilitating. It means creating and holding the container in which a group of people can do their best work together. Prepare a question and know what you will do with the harvest. Hosting conversations takes courage and a bit of certainty and faith in your people.
…be willing to co-create and co-host with others.
The value of conversations arises when we listen to what is in the middle, what is emerging from the centre of our collaboration.
So contribute what you know to the mix so that patterns may become clear and the collaborative field can produce unexpected and surprising results.
The four fold practice was the first pattern that gave rise to the Art of Hosting. It is simply an observation that great conversations happen when people are present, when they participate, when they are well hosted and when they co-create something.
This practice helped me really get to the core of the hosting process and understand that one can be an expert in tools and formats. But this will not necessarily make this person a good host nor open the way to deep, enlightening conversations. The key is the fractal!
A poem by Toke Moller, one of the initiators of Art of Hosting, summarizes its essence in few words:
There are four practices that can become one.
It is about being awake
caring for each moment
It is about hosting by being conscious now.
It is about being a student listening and learning.
It about stepping up with courage
when it is my turn to lead.
It is to co create with others
for the benefit of All.
These can be practiced as one whole