By Finn Voldtofte, 2005
Each of the nine practices can be learned, trained and improved, so that I can grow in my ability to contribute to the magic in the middle.
If I am to take on an authentic leadership that engages the magic in the middle of my organisation, it requires competence within the nine practices at three levels: personal experience, process design and process guidance.
Metaphorically seen, magic in the middle can be understood as social technology at the level of the operating system. If I want to use a computer to write a letter or make a budget, I need to know some targeted applications, as Word or Excel. But I also need to know the operating system of the computer, which is the platform for the applications.
In the same way, if I want to achieve robustness and community around idea and intention in an organisation, I have to make use of targeted processes for realising strategy. If it happens on a platform of process that engages magic in the middle, it is possible to create results that to a higher degree draw upon the collective intelligence of the organisation.
I believe that many of the processes we make use of today, in order to lead and transform organisations, could get a radical lift by engaging magic in the middle of the organisation.
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This is the last of six weekly posts taken from an Introduction to Magic in the Middle written by the late Finn Voldtofte in March of 2005 (click the following links to go directly to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, or Part 5.
Finn was one of the original co-founders of the World Café. He worked tirelessly with Juanita Brown to distill and articulate the World Café Design Principles that underlie all World Café practice. Finn was an amazing human being who inspired and touched many, many people on a profound level. His articulation of the “Magic in the Middle” is still one of the most evocative descriptions of what makes World Café “work” and we are honored to publish his words here in this crucial time, when they ring as truly & eloquently as ever
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