If we want X

If what we want is X, then we should go directly to it. Directing people to do X is a step in between: it is the director deciding what is right to do, then trying to motivate people to do it. If however people want X and decide upon it, then not only do we not have to motivate them, but we do not have to make the decision for them.

The problem then becomes clear: we fear they will not do X, but will do X’ or Y instead. We want it our way. Well, now, if that shines the light in the eyes of the culprit, what are we to do? Get out of the way. Make way. Open space.

So we need first ask ourselves, What do we want?

Do we want people active in the schools? Then get people active, don’t try to school the board candidates to better school the constituency. Invite the people to create the vision. To put meat on the bones. Action does not come from a cute slogan; action comes from doing what needs to be done, seeing a better thing to do. Engagement comes from engagement.

Next we need to ask, How do we get there? Better: How do we use There to get There?

For instance, to engage people in the schools, let’s engage them here and now in designing schools. What do we need? What would a school that served all of us well look like? Who is us? Whom shall we serve?

Another for instance, if we want to get better school board candidates, more informed and engaged, let’s get them together and with the school board and the administration and the teachers and the students and ask them not for their positions but for their questions. Get them engaged in the search for what they are seeking. Start from where you want to end up; more precisely, Start WITH where you want to end up. Is it engagement? Then engage. Is it effective candidates? Then effectively engage.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on September 8th, 2008 | No Comments »

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