Organizing Thoughts

Organizing retrospective 25

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
Last week, I got the opportunity to observe the actual decision-making of the Quakers in Stockholm. The experience has stayed with me during this week. Here are my notes (in Swedish).

Kväkargården, Stockholm.

There was a flow in the meeting which made an impression. What I saw was a mature group that had the ability to dance together.1 I have seen this dance in other circumstances, but then usually for brief moments, as there is much that can get the dance out of its rhythm. In this case, the clerk (ombudet in Swedish) helped the group to stay in the dance, for example by offering syntheses of the “sense of the meeting” and by inviting moments of silence. The Swedish Quakers call the use of silence “framkallningstid.” It is the photographic processing which transforms a latent image into a visible image. This means that the clerk deliberately “slows down” the meeting to help people to ground themselves and to tap into what they know. I think there is something deeply generative going on in what the Quakers do. I also think that the essentials are accessible to all.2

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander arrived this week. This means that I now have several books to read in the coming weeks.

What was good? What can be improved?
Simon Robinson asked here if I can begin to write a little about how I’m structuring my thoughts. I think it’s a good idea. I need to start integrating all my reading.

1 I use the notion of a mature group as defined by Lasse Ramquist and Mats Eriksson. See Ramquist & Eriksson, Manöverbarhet (Ekerlids Förlag, 2000), pp. 146–152.
2 Leonard Joy lists the essentials of Quaker practice in Collective Intelligence and Quaker Practice (accessed 2017-01-21).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

By Jan Höglund

I share my reading, book reviews, and learning in my blog.

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