This afternoon, for homework, I was reading an article by Peter Senge:
Senge, P. (1995). Robert Greenleaf’s legacy: A new foundation for twenty-first century institutions. In L. C. Spears (Ed.), Reflections on leadership (pp. 217-241). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Senge argues that leadership includes answering “how do you build the capacity of a group of people to move toward their visions?” In this section, he suggests that people should be in dialogue, not discussion, and to be thinking together. To illustrate thinking together, he references the movie, Dances with Wolves, in particular, the section where the tribal council meets. There is deep listening, multiple strong perspectives, and no action or decision made. Yet later in the movie, there is a scene where the tribe acts fluidly together on a buffalo hunt. Senge suggests that “the capacity for the counil to sit and think together is inseparable from their capacity to act together” (p. 233).
Twitter as “Thinking Together”
All of a sudden it struck me! Web 2.0 is how the Jazz facilitators “think together”. Some of the Jazz facilitators stay connected throughout the year in multiple ways:
- Blogs: Janine, Roxanne, Lori, Rebecca, Ashton, Andrea… did I miss anyone? Some of those who don’t blog still comment fairly regularly on these blogs.
- Skype: we all have each other’s Skype accounts from using it in Jazz. Some of us “Skype each other” regularly to ask questions, get help, share resources etc.
- Twitter: This is the new one for me. Just started in August. But I realized when I was reading Senge that there is a stream-of-Jazz-lead-facilitator-consciousness running along in Twitter.
- Sharing VCs: In addition, some of the Jazz facilitators create and share content throughout the year with the others. This builds community; builds relationships; builds trust.
All of these tools help us learn together, share together, THINK together throughout the year. So when we come to plan Jazz in the summer, we have a collective shared knowledge and growth from the year.
To Jazz Facilitators: Participate!
However, not all of the Jazz facilitators participate in this community of thinking together. They are missing out! I’d like to challenge the Jazz facilitators who might fit into this category to do at least one of the following:
- Subscribe to the blogs listed above – both comments and post RSS feeds. Then comment at least once a month.
- Get TwitterFox and follow one or more of us. I’m not sure as of this posting if all the Jazz lead facilitators want me to post their Twitter account here, so I won’t. You know how to contact us if you need to.
- Create some content and share it with another Jazz facilitator. This year! Before June 2009!
If you do, there won’t be such a learning curve when we get to making Jazz happen in the summer. We’ll have a year’s worth (or more) of shared knowledge from which to innovate, improve, and inspire our workshop participants.
To the rest of you:
How are you contributing to a learning community? Are you participating? Do you have a personal learning network?