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Author Archive for Amy Lenzo – Page 2

Introduction to Magic in the Middle – Part Five

By Finn Voldtofte, 2005

(Nine) Practices to Engage the Magic in the Middle
It is essential to understand that the magic in the middle is more than an idea. It is a reality that can be experienced, and which I may have a poorer or a better ability to recognise, participate in and possibly to take leadership of engaging in my organisation. As such it is very appropriate to ask: Which practices can help me and my people to engage the magic in the middle?

With a practice I think of something that has been established through a mixture of attitude, behaviour and experienced ability to act. It is more than just a good idea that I might take up some time; more concrete than an ideal or a behavioural norm. I point to nine practices that each contribute to engaging the magic in the middle:

2. Inquiry
To be able to go to the edge of ones knowledge and to stand being in a field of not-knowing.

To be able to leave one’s field of “already- knowing”, including opting out on making everything fit or not fit with mental models that I carry with me.

To let go of the need to pass the judgement “right” or “wrong”.

To be able to wait and see what happens, rather than making “what is this useful for?” a criteria for evaluation.

It is easy enough to say, “to be inquiring”, it is harder to do – it takes experience, self-insight, social skills and more to master inquiry as a practice.

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Introduction to Magic in the Middle – Part Four

By Finn Voldtofte, 2005

Transformative Power
To be in a field with magic in the middle transforms those that make up the field. In principle two things are transformed: my ability to be myself, and my ability to be completely present in a meeting with other people. It is always possible to become better at being myself, and it is always possible to become better at meeting with others. Maybe the two are prerequisites for each other.

The transformation takes shape as a gradual degeneration of whatever keeps me from being myself completely, and whatever keeps me from being completely present in a meeting. What that might be for the individual, and how it is gradually degenerated, dissolved and overcome, I do not know – I only claim that it happens.

The power to transform may reach further than to the people that make up the field, if we place the ability to think together for a cause, and something wise results from it. To be able to engage the magic in the middle of people in an organization is a means to transform that organization.

* * *

This is the fourth 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 5, or Part 6).

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.

Introduction to Magic in the Middle – Part Three

By Finn Voldtofte, 2005

Collective Intelligence – Collective Wisdom
Intelligence here simply means the ability to think – that is to reflect, consider, examine, learn, be absorbed, distinguish … .

The shift in awareness, from the individual to the magic in the middle of a group of people, is also a shift towards paying attention to the emerging ability to think together, the collective intelligence of the group.

A collective intelligence has the possibility of thinking at a different level than we can individually. The characteristics of a collective intelligence can be described intuitively with the words “higher”, “deeper”, “broader”, “bigger” … .

What we gain by making use of this ability to think together, we could call collective wisdom. Collective wisdom is thus a form of knowledge that we, in principle, do not have access to individually, but that can only arise in our common field. As such it is not knowledge that we have in common; it is knowledge that only emerges in communities.

* * *

This is the third 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 4, Part 5, or Part 6).

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.