Tuesday, April 15, 2014

LENT Photo # 38 What new story do we want to tell?

   The value of a grounded question, that's what's on my mind today...
   It's an idea I've always aspired to with greater or lesser success, but recently have been introduced to the work of Mark Strom. I am just starting to read "LEAD with Wisdom" which seems written ideally for a reader like me... double page themes then move on... creating the ability to dip in and learn something and come back...
   But a grounded question is different to corporate speak, creates the opportunity for stories and the listening suggests a way forward... Mark uses the example of some consultation work at a school faced with the task of lifting performance and changing focus.... he asks "why did you become teachers?" It's a different kind of conversation...
   I have been known to ask my share of grounded questions but still feel that the search escapes me a lot... you need to go in search of grounded questions and my intuitiveness can get stuck on stories or the wrong angle...

Here's the claim of what a grounded question can do...

It draws on our curiosity about people.
It puts people front and centre in our thinking.
It immerses us in the context of what’s actually happening.
It looks past platitudes about culture to realities of people’s experience of community, pride, frustration, & hope.
It puts us in a place to start imagining a better story.
It turns organisational logic upside down: not telling ‘workers’ to engage in manager’s slogans, but helping managers to engage in the craft and community of the ‘workers’.
It looks for ‘brilliance in the room’ before turning to ‘best practice’ elsewhere.
It breaks the boundaries of organisational structure and helps us bridge ideas.
It shifts us from the mode of communication to conversation.
It helps us look at a problem ‘sideways’.
It helps us think in analogy: from ‘this is’ to ‘this is like’.
It puts ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘our’ in every question.

Two simple examples which unearthed exactly what I'd hoped at our last YTMC meeting, though I had to be helped to articulate it well!!

What new story do we want [to tell]?
What's one change could we create that would make a huge difference?

   Two stories were shared and the second led to an observation about young people and whether in some ways this generation/s have been a little 'mollycoddled'... aha!! It was an important story and you could argue the toss about the observation and how applicable it might be across a non homogenous group BUT it connected with the idea that faith should ask something of us and discipleship ought to embody a challenge.... what if in our mission and ministry with young people in the UCA in the Hunter we sought to create "resilient resourceful/tough young people"... 

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