I resisted writing this book for several years because it seemed like the last thing the world needed was yet another self-help / business management / “you should” book. I have personally developed a case of bibliophobia that causes heart palpitation’s and cold sweats when people tell me about yet another book I should read. I didn’t want to contribute to more insecurity and OCD behavior.
Likewise, the idea that I had much to add to the current debate seemed egotistical. The elements people need to create happy, productive, thriving lives are already available “out there” in countless books, blogs, or workshops, not to mention in most of the great philosophical and spiritual traditions. Most of the ideas you will encounter here aren’t new. In fact, it’s likely that you have already read similar things in other books or blogs.
But I was consistently disappointed that:
- Good ideas are too often presented or interpreted as THE magic “silver bullet”
- There is a surprising lack of interest in integrating potentially contradictory advice
- There is a nearly complete lack of critical self-reflection on “best practices”
All of this combines to create an environment that is flooded in information but lacking true knowledge – and almost devoid of real wisdom. Deep economic and sociological shifts are disrupting old, taken-for-granted ways of navigating the world and the “new normal” still eludes us. This environment presents very real dangers. The creative and productive capacity of intelligent, committed, passionate people is largely being wasted in the frenetic chase after passing fads and “secrets to success” that are appealing but ultimately ineffective. In a world facing significant economic, environmental and social challenges, we can’t afford to keep wasting our most important nature resource.
This book attempts to correct that situation by applying critical thinking to a wide variety of “how to” advice currently circulating. The work reported here is the result of an on-going discussion of practitioners from a variety of perspectives coming to together to ask “what do we know to be true and how do we know it?”
We started with a few provocative propositions:
- All perspectives hold valuable yet partial pieces of the puzzle.
- Social systems are dynamic, therefore effective solutions must navigate dynamic tensions – oppositional forces requiring balance rather than simplistic solutions that ignore (at least) half of reality.
- Much of what we think we know is wrong AND much of what we actually know is hidden from view until brought to light though reflection
With that in mind, we began to put together an integrated, dynamic model that could help practitioners develop a deeper understanding of the process of transformational change. Our goal here is to begin the discussion and keep it moving forward, not to provide the final, definitive recipe for success.
We are looking for collaborators on this project. There are several ways you can get involved.
If you would like a chance to talk about the ideas we are developing, join the Facilitator Seminar – a free regular web-meeting to discuss concepts in the book.
We are developing the book on FastPencil – an online writing collaboration tool. If you would like to be added as a collaborator on the book, visit the project site AND please send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) – the technology can be buggy.
And, of course, you can leave comments here or on our Facebook Page.