Journeys into the Art of Facilitating Emergence

The Lost Navigator

by | Jan 20, 2022 | Self | 1 comment

I am not sure what the role of this little text is within the overall mosaic on self organisation development and why it is pegged as the starting point here. But it is and so it must mean something. Dialogic Organisation Development assumes that transformative change starts with a “generative image”, a new metaphor to make sense of yourself in the world. Maybe this is mine. 

Nested in the Thousand Islands of the St Lawrence River lies the little town of Clayton. Built in the early 1800s as the railroad head for the region, it drew traders, smugglers, pirates and patriots fighting against the British in the northern colonies. Today it is unwinding New Yorkers and visitors who spend mild summers and dramatic falls on the Stream and around the Islands. Walking down the Clayton shoreline among the sturdy stone houses you may stumble upon The Lost Navigator – a fine place for serious drinking. On my first visit to Clayton I came by this little bar, reading its sign with a strange powerful resonance, but unable to step inside. Later that day, when steering my Kayak through the Thousand Islands, I suddenly understood the name: The River is like a jungle. You have no clue, where you are, the islands all look alike, they melt into each other. You give up trying to figure out exactly where you are at and succumb to finding out where you go next. You ride the wave between steering and being guided by the landscape. You explore…

self organisation development is a collection of writings about letting things happen without just letting them happen. From an angle of my field of work – organisation development – I follow the question how to read, surf and gently guide the dynamics of a social system to find and unfold its groove. I am interested in how we can rely more on self-organisation and emergent development in process facilitation and what can be done when things get sticky or stuck along this way.

The texts published here are excerpts of a book I am wrestling with. They are not perfect and complete but they want to get out. I am happy to exchange views and insights on the ideas shared in them.

Lost Navigator Image by: Quyen Dinh, ParlorTattooPrints