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Author Archive for Amy Lenzo

Introduction to Magic in the Middle – Part Six

By Finn Voldtofte, 2005

Authentic Leadership
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.

* * *

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

 


World Cafe is “Stepping In” on a new level – increasing our capacity to engage most effectively with the challenging issues of our times. Here’s an overview of what we’re envisioning and some of the priorities we’ve identified to start. Please join us and contribute what you can to support this important work.


This blog post is one response to an open invitation to our global community – to step up & express what the gift of the World Cafe means to YOU. We welcome your posts, as well as your comments and shares on this post.

Happy Birthday Anne!

Today is Anne Dosher’s 95th birthday.

Anne is the ground beneath my feet as I do the work I do with the World Cafe community. I often think of her.

When I am stuck, I ask myself, “What would Anne do?”, and hear her lovely voice in my heart inviting me to breathe, appreciate the blessings of the moment, remember all the powers and spirits who are holding & guiding me, and then take the simple, minimal, elegant next step, whatever that is.

All the time I have spent in her presence has been a precious gift, a blessing I carry with me always.

. . . o0O0o . . .

This is one of a series of blog posts to honor our Elder Anne Dosher, who has been a wonderful guide and steward since the World Cafe was born in 1995. To celebrate Anne’s 95th birthday, we are collecting stories and greetings from the global World Cafe community.

 


World Cafe is “Stepping In” on a new level – increasing our capacity to engage most effectively with the challenging issues of our times. Here’s an overview of what we’re envisioning and some of the priorities we’ve identified to start. Please join us and contribute what you can to support this important work.

This blog post is one response to an open invitation to our global community – to step up & express what the gift of the World Cafe means to YOU. We welcome your posts, as well as your comments and shares on this post.

Anne at the Dresden Frauenkirche

In 2007, World Cafe senior practitioners Ulric Rudebeck and Sabine Spenser co-hosted a very special World Cafe in the crypt of the re-built Dresden Frauenkirche, which had been bombed in the last World War. Part of three days of city-wide World Cafes organized by World Cafe Europe, it was a “Reconciliation” Cafe on the theme of forgiveness.

This Cafe was especially important for Anne Dosher, the Guardian of the Soul of the World Cafe, who had traveled from California with several of us from The World Cafe Community Foundation, in part so she could be there for this very occasion.

The following short video tells the story of why this Cafe was so special for Anne:

This is one of a series of blog posts to honor our Elder Anne Dosher, who has been a wonderful guide and steward since the World Cafe was born in 1995. To celebrate Anne’s 95th birthday this week, we are collecting stories and greetings from the global World Cafe community.