- people were proud of their art work, and wanted it placed as near as possible to the team.
|"Je crois que non"|
Power of subconscious concept
1. collect all the relevant information; taking time to obtain all relevant information during some time, not necessarily start writing or creating an image.
2. start drawing an image and simplifying it; at the start when trying to draw an image that represents the issues and the way forward it would have too many boxes, arrows and text. I would continue until the moment that the image would really be 'simple’ or show 'harmony', and still respecting an adequate coverage of all issues and required elements. When the image was still too complex and 'messy' this meant that I was not yet fully mastering the situation; I was still documenting information, but not showing insight.
3. writing with the image as starting point
Last step would then be to write the document around the images; I would use much less text and the images would make it easy for people to 'see' the natural 'logic’ of the story and more easily connect.
The example of creating the paintings with the group showed me new elements:
It is good if I take in all information and create an image to 'sell’ my view. It is even better if I can involve others in the creation, so it becomes our shared image; and they feel it also represents their view and aspirations. And in addition it will make the image better if we are able to benefit from all different views in the group.
The process where I interact with a group to find a 'shared image' I call Shared Imagination.
Some interesting elements I have found in other disciplines that support parts of this idea:
- David Peat explains in his book Gentle Action that we are all a 'molecule in the sea'. We are too small to create whole new movements by ourselves, but we can try to see the waves coming and be ready to be in front of the wave. When our shared image for the team is including all people’s views, we take the benefit of all connections and senses we have out there to ensure we see the waves coming.
- In social psychology it is known that 'we find what we look for'; what is 'activated' in our minds will influence our perception. Example: (i) If I am thinking about buying a new
We can also use the positive element; if people connect with an image of where they want to go they will see everything around them in that view and what they will do will more easily follow that approach.
At a workplace the most complex part of Shared Imagination is that it requires some things from the manager:
- communication skills to really connect to everyone on the team; to guide the process but leaving people the option to bring in their ideas and help create the resulting image
- understanding the strengths of people in the team as well as which elements motivate the people. Frequently I try to find out what people feel their added value is in the team, and what they want to get out of the team work (what energizes them).
- using strengths of the people in the process; someone who can make nice designs, an expert bringing real insight, someone good in maintaining team spirit, another person good in organizing the sessions, etc.
- important element is that the manager lets go of his/her ego, and truly opens up, accepts to be wrong, and instead focuses on understanding all views and opinions.
Creating an image that is fully shared requires lots of energy and passion. It is easier to push your own image or structure on the world, and in current hectic world with many tasks it is tempting to keep pushing our ideas; and I still notice that I am tempted myself. The benefits of creating an image of where we want to go seem to grow exponentially when we tap into the Shared Imagination, as many things will go much more organically afterwards, building on the shared experience and insight we have created.
I also used this concept during a workshop in