Purpose Shared: Resignation to inspiration!

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton


"The secret sauce for any meeting: the agenda doesn’t go to outcome first; you design to quiet the mind and allow people to shift to the present moment to get connected."


I am jazzed! I just got off Zoom with a new action team of 12. Different locations, different reasons for participating, a common mandate to be revealed. I had 1-1/2 hours to create a container where they could come together and find commonality, in an environment of mutual trust and respect.

This team was one of six formed at the end of an in-person 1-1/2 day retreat, which was amazing: we created resonance in the midst of dissonance. Moved from resignation to inspiration. When people are inspired, they will step up, no matter how busy they are. 

Secret Sauce

The Convening Tool Kit Worked!

The secret sauce for any meeting: the agenda doesn’t go to outcome first; you design to quiet the mind and allow people to shift to the present moment to get connected.

More secret sauce: a process that focuses on the heart of the matter and gets the purpose and agreements clear, so that people can pay attention and participate fully.

(And, a lot more ideas and learnings to share in another post...)

Outcomes were achieved! Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. Common goals and committed action came easily and were the natural outcome of a designed essential conversation.

Whether you are leading a virtual collaboration or a weekly team meeting, an Art of Convening Training adds a powerful skill set to any facilitation or gathering. Learn the secret sauce of great meetings. We would love to work with you!

Craig Neal


Purpose Moment

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal


Purpose Shared: A Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal


"I started this project as a small way of offering a counterbalance to the dissonance of the world. Now I am discovering that, while I believe this project is meeting that vision, it is also evolving into a process that goes far beyond." 


We are thrilled to celebrate with CPL Associate Barbara Shipka on this amazing milestone. More on the story below and by clicking on the photo.

From Barbara: Today I invite you to celebrate with me. Recently I was honored with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Boards of Directors of The Gestalt Center for Organization and Systems Development. To quote the Center’s President and CEO, John D. Carter, “Thank you for making a difference in the world through your presence as an applied behavioral science practitioner. You have found a way to gently touch the hearts of people by allowing them to learn from your work.” 

Each of you has had a lot to do with my winning this award. ...

I started this project as a small way of offering a counterbalance to the dissonance of the world. Now I am discovering that, while I believe this project is meeting that vision, it is also evolving into a process that goes far beyond that. It is actually demonstrating how, via technology, we can connect at the heart level even when we cannot be in person. Thus, our reach and our individual and collective webs can be so much more than we ever imagined! 

Recognition: Barbara Shipka

I’ve known many of you personally at some point in time covering many decades. We may not have been in each other’s physical company for years but, through this project, we have consciously reignited our connections with each other – both subtly and explicitly. Each time I send an email and you open it, we have gifted and blessed each other. Through that single act we are changing the world! 

Together, we form a collective of hope and possibility. We are all such good people who are each doing our part to make the world a better place through our presence. As a collective, we are on six continents…from Iraq to Australia, Ethiopia to China, Argentina to Belgium, the US to India. You are my graduate school advisor, my fifth grade students in Beirut, Lebanon, my clients and colleagues at work in places like the US, Switzerland, and Somalia, my business partner, my spiritual teachers and healers, my son, my beloved friends everywhere. You are my chosen family. I have learned so much from you. I send you my deepest gratitude!

May we continue together on this journey of recognizing how our relationships last longer than our in-person encounters. And may we continue exploring and unfolding new ways that show us more fully how we are connected whether we are aware of it or not.


Purpose Shared: Igniting a Purpose Revolution

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton


"There are good companies out there, and a lot of work needs to be done by companies to tell their authentic story and build a firm relationship with customers based on who the company is..."


I first got to know John Izzo in a tent on safari in Tanzania. Our 3-week journey led us to one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa. Our leader was none other than our mutual mentor, Richard Leider, the "Pope of Purpose." John had already established himself as a global leadership author, speaker, and consultant. Little did I know that 11 years later CPL and John would be joining Richard in a global purpose movement, and John would write a defining book called The Purpose Revolution.  - Craig

The Purpose Gap

Dr. John Izzo

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What is the Purpose Gap? It is both an opportunity and threat in the business world today. It exists because there a distinct difference between what people desire and hope for, and what is actually being delivered by businesses and organizations. Today a purpose gap exists for both employees and customers.

Seventy seven percent of employees say there is matters a great deal to work for a company they believe in and a job where they have a sense of purpose. Fifty percent of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for the right company, and almost forty percent cite purpose as the main driver of their engagement and retention at work. Yet the vast majority of people, 75%, say that they don’t work for this type of company- that the company they work for mostly cares about profit and its own self-interest. Therein lies the purpose gap for employees.

Customers around the world are asking for more purpose than companies are delivering. Eighty percent of customers globally want to buy from companies that they believe are doing a good job in the world. Yet they feel confident that only 6% of the companies they do business with are actually good. In other words, they have a deep desire to buy good, but have no idea if the companies that serve them are good or not.  There are good companies out there, and a lot of work needs to be done by companies to tell their authentic story and build a firm relationship with customers based on who the company is, and what positive good it achieves.

My co-author Jeff Vanderwielen and I talk in The Purpose Revolution about how companies who close the purpose gap are going to

be the real winners. As employees and customers, we want more. The companies who listen and really deliver are going to be the ones we choose to work for and buy from. The Purpose Revolution is here. Are you ready?

Watch my Izzo on Purpose video to find out more about The Purpose Gap.

More here: https://drjohnizzo.com/purpose-blog/purpose-revolution/the-purpose-gap/


Great Meetings - The Recipe: Part 1

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal


The Convening Method is much like baking a cake. Purpose is the flour, convening is the yeast. Convening activates purpose. The ingredients, all added at the right time, consciously tended in a step-by-step manner, can be successful time after time.

The recipe for convening transformational meetings follows a path:

  1. Start with a clear purpose and success factors. A two-sentence statement will do.
  2. Your agenda comes next. It will embody your purpose along with what you are to do together to reach your success factors or intent.
  3. Your invitation simply outlines what you are to do together that integrates purpose and intent.
  4. Giving thought and consideration to the space in which you meet is often neglected. Think what would stimulate and enliven the attendees beyond all the necessary materials.
  5. In creating safe spaces for authentic engagements remember the cultural norms and what agreements you wish to have to allow people to settle in and feel safe.
  6. Once in the meeting, how many times and how many ways can all the voices be heard to allow the opportunity for full participation?
  7. Essential conversation is the result of the preparation you have put into the first 5 steps of the recipe. Here we are aware of mood and level of connection each has for engaging in the agenda. Has the space been created for mutual trust and respect?
  8. Calling for a commitment to action brings clarity to what has been agreed to. A commitment to action invites responsibility, accountability, and commitment to an individual and collective way forward.
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In Part 1 we gave you the recipe or the method. In Part 2, next week, the yummy ingredients!


Love and The Art of Convening

Photo credit: Craig neal

Photo credit: Craig neal


[from co-author Cindy] I started a graduate program this fall and am interested in carrying “love” as a scholarly topic of study and as a theme for my program. As I research this topic I am finding many others who are taking love as a serious topic of study worthy of understanding for the sake of human wellbeing and effective relationships. The time seems right to dig deeper into this subject....

http://heartlandcircle.blogs.com/aoc_book/2011/09/love-and-the-art-of-convening.html


Each Voice as Key

Photo credit: Craig neal

Photo credit: Craig neal


P R I N C I P L E:

Each voice is needed to reveal the authentic wisdom in our engagement.

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We often refer to this principle as letting go and let come. We let go of our preconceptions of who the others are in the gathering and we let come the truth, quality, and essence of each. We suspend judgment (certainty) so that we are open to the possibilities of others. We must know, internally, that we, and all the others who are here, belong here. Each is needed and is here to contribute to the potential wisdom and creativity that we want in order to allow for the best possible outcome. There are no mistakes or outisiders in the universe, or in our gathering.

We must know, internally, that we, and all the others who are here, belong here. Each is needed and is here to contribute to the potential wisdom and creativity that we want in order to allow for the best possible outcome. There are no mistakes or outsiders in the universe, or in our gathering.

When we acknowledge that each voice is needed, we recognize that we are gathering the parts of something, just as a gardener gathers tools, seeds, and soil in the creation of a garden. As in a garden, where these necessary elements come togather, it is so in our gatherings: every person contributes by coming together to create something new. We orchestrate the opportunity for each individual to participate, producing a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. When all of the voices are heard, everyone sees and is seen by one another. Authentic engagement has begun, and an organic whole begins to emerge. (93)

This principle lays the foundation for maximizing the capacity for possible outcomes that may surprise even the most savvy and creative facilitator (convener) or manager (way-shower, guide). What has been missing in most meetings is simply this very recognition. Coming at our Team meetings and interactions on a regular basis with colleagues, how can we ignite that spark that dissolves the "I" and bridges to the "We"? Once we let our self-interests and expectations down, it is amazing what happens in the Boardrooms and meeting spaces. A new capacity forms. Granted, there will be moments of noodling through the currents of control, ego, and multiple opinions and views. This is all well and good and can be deftly navigated when the convener and the convening circle is coming from this space of understanding--the understanding that All Voices are Key.

Enjoy a copy of The Art of Convening for 30% off list price! (Offer ends April 7th 2011)

Here's to Hearing All the Voices!

Warmly,

Craig and Patricia


The Art of Intention

Photo credit: Craig Neal

Photo credit: Craig Neal


THE ART OF INTENTION

My deepest intention is always to serve, to encourage healing (in the meaning of fostering wholeness) and to embody love. I realized over time that by setting a clear intention for each gathering, for each day--I unleashed an energetic field which then drew the outer physical manifestation of that intention to me as I simultaneously was making my way towards "it".~Pele Rouge Chadima (quoted in the book p. 30 in chapter on "Clarifying Intent", the 'first' spoke on the Convening Wheel)

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In The Art of Convening, one of the "spokes" or Aspects of the Convening Wheel is "Clarifying Intent". We ask ourselves foundational questions such as "What are my intentions?", "Are they in line with who I am?", and "Who are we to be together?"  These Essential Questions require us to remain in the "being" realm of convening. With these questions, we bring into play our relationship with others: who we are to be, and the how we are to be with one another. From these reflections flows the recognition of an intention that will have substance. With a clarified personal intent to be engaged, the design of the gathering and how it will be executed unfolds more easily. The Invitation, the third Aspect, is the logical next step in articulating our purpose and intent. If our intention is muddy, confused or ambiguous, it may eventually be revealed in a wishy-washy Invitation.

What matters and what counts are imagination and inspiration, a "Hail Yes!" we can attitude, and a roll up our sleeves movement of such magnitude that the future can hear us coming with our heads held high above the cloudy predictions and our knapsacks filled with our gumption and our grit, our gifts and our gratitudes-the building blocks of new cornerstones of possibility. ~Minx Boren (quoted on p. 32)

Intention is like an ignition point where ideas come closer to form, and where the numinous begins to come into reality. It provides us as individuals and groups the opportunity to slow and reflect carefully, and opens a field of gratitude and insurmountable momentum and equanimity--qualities that support success and the deepest form of accomplishment on all levels.

May your convening be full of clear intention and inspiration,

Craig, Patricia & Cindy

PS: Publisher 30% off list price limited time offer in either hardcopy or e-book. Go here to purchase for only $13.97: http://bit.ly/ebAQiw