Amara Associate Lisa Markwick reflects on her learning from co-facilitating the first of Amara’s Power of Three programme with a deep and deepening inquiry about the challenge of Action Inquiry in action as it opens up our mindsets to create space for change and transformation at many levels.
It’s week seven and something feels precarious in Amara’s Power of Three programme. We have three weeks to go with this first collective of trios. These are three pivotal people in each of four organisations who have committed to their own development, their functioning as a dynamic team and to working towards a resolution of a complex issue crucial to their organisation – now and for the future. That’s quite a commitment. In my own enthusiastic reaction, I’m feeling my tendency to be attached to outcome – it creates quite some pressure and narrows my mind – but I’m well practiced at striving. We have suggested that they clearly identify the “island” to which they navigate, align around that, then let that island be attracted to them – be still and curious and allow the island to come to them. We encourage them to be bold, yet still enough to feel and adjust to the conditions at play; to have an eye on the future yet be grounded in the present; to play lightly with possible ways ahead. This opens a space for an emerging strategic mindset – crucial for today’s complex conditions.
As facilitators of this journey we hold at the forefront of our attention the three folds of our intention.
Firstly the “I”. We understand that to reinvent the future we must be prepared to reinvent ourselves concurrently. We hold preciously the developing curiosity and awareness of perspective, of identify, of vulnerability and confusion that each participant experiences, and that we experience too. Leaders in inquiry and action.
The second fold, the “we”. We deliberately invite trios to be in deep conversation with one another. We know that they will sense the interactive dynamics of the trio. Power will show up, voice and listening will be in balance and out of balance, agreement and tension will happen. Collective wisdom will arise when we and they relax into the process. Heidi and I (the Power of Three co-facilitators) and the trios are committed to showing up, being present to what’s real, speaking the truth, and letting go of outcome. It takes courage to be collaborative and bold.
The third fold we attend to is that trios will free up action and energy to find creative transformative solutions to the complex issue they have brought the table in the service of their organisations. This for me is the one that takes more consciousness – where I feel on a precarious edge. I exercise super conscious awareness to hold outcome lightly, on behalf of the Power of Three trios, as well as on behalf of us at Amara. I reiterate to myself that no one has the answers, there are no singular correct ways ahead. Letting go of knowing, and of specific expectation, being with confusion, is the opening to wisdom. Feeling the confusion and trusting that out of this comes fresh wisdom, and transformation. These messages are for me as much as for the participants of Power of Three. I settle myself knowing that we’ve witnessed the deep richness of their sense of current context and the very apparent growth in confidence to be with nuance and “mess” that many have expressed. Now I trust that we can, together, navigate into the future – as if by candle light or maybe by the Matariki star cluster that made itself most visible recently here in Aotearoa.
We are in the thick of it. We circle around “react, reflect, respond”. We arrive, we embark, we arrive. Welcome travellers.
The next iteration of the Power of Three begins in September/ October 2020. Mid September on Thursdays for those in New Zealand / Australian time zones; and beginning of October on Wednesdays at times most suitable for Europe. See details for Europe here and for New Zealand / Australia here. Please note the special rates that could be available to SMEs in NZ – many thanks to the NZ government’s investment in developing management capability. Call me (Lisa) or Heidi to discuss and register your interest now.