Reviewed by Peter:
interest is in transforming the disconnectedness in our society. His
view is that our atomisation is driven by fear, and that we need to
move from individual transformation towards a concept of community
future is created one room at a time, one gathering at a time...
Change the way we meet, and you will change the way we live. A
meeting should be a living example of how we want the future to be."
In this way each meeting provides an opportunity for each person to
decide to step up and become more engaged as an owner and author.
small group has to be the unit of transformation, because it is where
we learn best, and it is the container for our experience of
belonging. It's where we learn that care and accountability go
together. The small group is the bridge between our own individual
existence and the larger community. In the small group we discover
that our concerns are
more universal than we thought."
you think about conferences and such where social engagement is
relegated to brief chance conversations in the breaks, you can see
is not big on problem solving. He sees the traditional narrative of
analysing, explaining, trying to change others, as about maintaining
control, about trying to create a predictable future. If we are to
move away from dependence on 'the system', we must do that by
inventing associational life. Not by being angry at the system and
its problems. We musn't take our identity from our problems. Our
focus needs to shift from fear, deficiency, entitlement, and problem
solving, towards possibility, generosity, restoration and
major theme is the myth of hero leadership. "Strong leadership
lets citizens off the hook, reinforces individualism, and overlooks
the power of relatedness. This means we can stop looking for
leadership as though it were scarce. Leadership is not a personality
characteristic or a matter of training, and therefore it requires
nothing more than what all of us already have."
sees leadership more as convening, hosting, or invitational in
nature. Leadership is more about making a space for people to have a
conversation. "Leadership begins with understanding that every
gathering is an opportunity to deepen accountability and commitment
through engagement." It's about asking the right questions. It's
third major theme is about questions. He holds that questions are
much more transforming than answers. And that questions demand (or
invite) engagement. They are the means by which we are all confronted
with our freedom. In order to do this, the questions need to be
ambiguous, personal and slightly stressful.
create the space for something new to emerge. Answers, especially
those that respond to our need for quick results, while satisfying,
shut down the discussion, and the future shuts down with them...
Powerful questions are those that, in the answering, evoke a choice
for accountability and commitment. They are questions that take us to
requests, offers, declarations, forgiveness, confession, gratitude,
and welcome, all of which are memorable and have a transformative
invites us to consider that we are all guilty of having created this
world. Of course, this also means that we have the power to change
it. The questions have the goal to replace fixing and advice with
is a sample of some of his questions, of which the book has many;
is the commitment you hold that brought you into this room?
is the crossroads you face at this stage of the game?
is the story you keep telling, about the problems of this community?
are the gifts you hold that have not been brought fully into the
is your contribution to the very thing you complain about?
is it about you or your team, that no one knows?
still digesting the book, but i feel this is an important message, one
that relates to everything that the Big House Project stands for.