You can’t build on broken. But we sure do try! We look at what’s wrong first, we analyze and try to fix it and sometimes we do. We start with a negative mindset: what went “wrong” with this project? What expectations didn’t you meet? What (who?) caused this failure? Perhaps it’s in our nature. Perhaps it’s the path of least resistance. Yet, maybe that’s why many of the ways we try to fix big systemic problems in our society (education, healthcare) don’t work. Face it, it’s hard to motivate and impassion from the negative.
What if we build on what’s right? What’s working? That’s how Angela created Neighborhood Centers, Inc. When we start with what is working, what is going right, we focus on the positive, on opportunities, on how things have been solved, creating energy and passion to really make a difference. Chip and Dan Heath refer to these as “Bright Spots” in Switch. The positive mindset expands, not limits, opportunities: what went well, what expectations were met or even exceeded? If we adopt this type of mindset, think of how we can impassion and motivate each other to design system solutions to wicked problems! Think of what this would do to motivate our spouses, our children, and our colleagues? And yet it’s so rare. Some call this Appreciative Inquiry. I call it the way we should think, period! Because when you look at what’s right, it’s liberating, freeing. This seems obvious, doesn’t it?
Angela’s had another wonderful line, “We are the only species in the world that creates the future out of our own imagination.” This summed up many of the day’s other storytellers (and Day 2’s too!). Storytellers shared how they just went for it, how they didn’t stand by and wait to be told or asked, but saw an opportunity and decided to act. And that’s the point – see what’s working right and go make more ‘rights’. Connect with those who can help you, Inspire people to share your dream, and go Transform…by making a RCUS!
Here are the other stories from Day 1 – about people transforming education, healthcare, churches, communities, art and even mountain climbing:
John Werner, Chief Mobilization Officer & Managing Director, Citizen Schools – getting plain old people, not teachers, involved in educating our youth
Graham Milner, EVP Global Innovation at WD-40, a company none of us can live without!
Eva Koleva Timothy, amazing photographer who know it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer’s personal lens
Jim Mellado, President of the Willow Creek Association, a Christian organization mobilizing volunteers across the world to respond to those in need
Alex Jadad, Physician, Teacher, Innovator at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation asked us to teach our tongues to say “I don’t know.” (and who has an infectious smile)
Rebecca Onie, Co-Founder & CEO of Health Leads looking at at common, obvious solutions to change a formidable healthcare system for the poor.
John Hagel, Author, Co-Chair Deloitte Center for the Edge, drew an important distinction between a story (finite, contained) and narrative (open-ended, participatory, evolving)
Dale Stephens, Founder of UnCollege & Thiel Fellow, shared how he hacked his own education and took it as his responsibility vs. ‘educators’
Fred Mandell, Author and Artist, called creativity a quest that not only changes the world around us, but us as well
Matthew Moniz, 13 year old Alpinist, who used his passion for mountain climbing to understand his friend’s pulmonary hyper-tension and raise funds to help find a cure.