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Community
                              Peter Block




Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Accountability and
                         Commitment


Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Our intention is to create
                         the possibility of an
                         alternative future by
 ...
The dominant existing public conversation
                     is retributive, not restorative. It is void of
            ...
To be accountable, among other things,
              means you act as an owner and part creator
              of whatever ...
To be committed means you are willing
                   to make a promise with no expectation
                   of retur...
What is
                              Action?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
What is Action?

         The real intent of civic engagement is to shift
         the context within which traditional pr...
What is Action?

           It is this shift in context, expressed through a
           shift in language, that creates th...
Change the
                               Question
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Change the Question


       It is the shift in public conversation
       that constitutes transforming action.



Wednes...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How much...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       How do w...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:

       What new...
Change the Question

       Questions we ask that have little
       power to create alternative futures:
       Where is ...
Change the Question

       Answering these questions supports
       the belief that an alternative future
       can be ...
Change the Question

       They are the cause of the very thing
       we are trying to shift: the
       fragmented and ...
Leadership

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Leadership
       Leaders provide the means or
       architecture for gathering people in
       a way that will build co...
Leadership
       Leaders produce engagement in a
       way that creates accountability,
       which is to care for the ...
Change Your
                       Thinking
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Change Your Thinking


       Shifting our thinking creates a
       condition where where a shift in the
       world bec...
Change Your Thinking

       The shift is an inversion. Thinking of
       ourselves as effect to thinking of
       ourse...
Change Your Thinking

       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The audience creates the
       performance.

Wednesd...
Change Your Thinking


       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The subordinate creates the boss.


Wednesday, Janua...
Change Your Thinking


       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The child creates the parent.


Wednesday, January 2...
Change Your Thinking


       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The citizen creates the leadership.


Wednesday, Jan...
Change Your Thinking

       Examples of inversion thinking:

       Problem solving occurs to build
       relatedness.

...
Change Your Thinking

       Examples of inversion thinking:

       A building and its rooms are created
       by how it...
Change Your Thinking


       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The student creates the teacher.


Wednesday, Januar...
Change Your Thinking


       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The future creates the present.


Wednesday, January...
Change Your Thinking


       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The listening creates the speaker.


Wednesday, Janu...
Change Your Thinking

       Examples of inversion thinking:

       The openness to learn creates the
       teaching.

W...
Change Your Thinking


       Doesn’t matter whether inverted
       thinking is true.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Change Your Thinking


       It’s which system of thinking is most
       useful and gives us more power.


Wednesday, Ja...
Change the
                  Conversation
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Change the Conversation
       Certain conversations are satisfying and true yet
       have no power and no accountabilit...
Change the Conversation
       Conversational shifts that are other
       than just talk:

 •Invitation replaces mandate,...
The Six
                Conversations
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
One: The Invitation
              The elements of invitation are:

                •      Naming the possibility

        ...
Two: Possibilities
              A declaration of the possibility we stand for. Distinct from
              problem statem...
Three: Ownership
           The decision to become the author of our own experience.
           Distinct from blame, which...
Four: Dissent
           “No” is the beginning of commitment, without “no” there is
           no “yes”. Distinct from den...
Five: Commitment
           Commitment is a promise made with no expectation of
           return. Distinct from a barter ...
Six: Gifts
           Change and an alternative future occur by capitalizing on our
           gifts and capacities. Bring...
Our Invitation

                       How do we use the weeks leading into the 2010
                       municipal elec...
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Transcript of "Peterblock"

  1. 1. Community Peter Block Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  2. 2. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  3. 3. Accountability and Commitment Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  4. 4. Our intention is to create the possibility of an alternative future by creating a public conversation based on communal accountability and commitment. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  5. 5. The dominant existing public conversation is retributive, not restorative. It is void of accountability and soft on commitment. In this way it drives us apart, it does not bring us together. The existing conversation is about entitlement, not accountability. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  6. 6. To be accountable, among other things, means you act as an owner and part creator of whatever it is that you wish to improve. In the absence of this, you are in the position of effect, not cause; a powerless stance. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  7. 7. To be committed means you are willing to make a promise with no expectation of return; a promise void of barter and not conditional on another’s action. In the absence of this, you are constantly in the position of reacting to the choices of others. The cost of constantly reacting is increased cynicism. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  8. 8. What is Action? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  9. 9. What is Action? The real intent of civic engagement is to shift the context within which traditional problem solving, investment, and social and community action takes place. It is aimed at the restoration of the experience and vitality of community. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  10. 10. What is Action? It is this shift in context, expressed through a shift in language, that creates the condition where traditional forms of action can make a difference. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  11. 11. Change the Question Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  12. 12. Change the Question It is the shift in public conversation that constitutes transforming action. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  13. 13. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we hold those people accountable? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  14. 14. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we get people to show up and be committed? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  15. 15. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we get others to be more responsible? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  16. 16. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we get people on-board and doing the right thing? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  17. 17. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we get others to buy into our vision? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  18. 18. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we get those people to change? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  19. 19. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How much will it cost and where do we get the money? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  20. 20. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: How do we negotiate for something better? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  21. 21. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: What new policy or legislation will move our interests forward? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  22. 22. Change the Question Questions we ask that have little power to create alternative futures: Where is it working? Who has solved this elsewhere and how do we import that knowledge? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  23. 23. Change the Question Answering these questions supports the belief that an alternative future can be mandated, negotiated and controlled into existence. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  24. 24. Change the Question They are the cause of the very thing we are trying to shift: the fragmented and retributive nature of our communities. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  25. 25. Leadership Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  26. 26. Leadership Leaders provide the means or architecture for gathering people in a way that will build communities in which citizens will choose accountability and commitment. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  27. 27. Leadership Leaders produce engagement in a way that creates accountability, which is to care for the well being of the whole and commitment, which is to make and fulfill a promise without expectation of return. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  28. 28. Change Your Thinking Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  29. 29. Change Your Thinking Shifting our thinking creates a condition where where a shift in the world becomes possible. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  30. 30. Change Your Thinking The shift is an inversion. Thinking of ourselves as effect to thinking of ourselves as cause is the primary act of inversion. This is the point upon which accountability revolves. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  31. 31. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The audience creates the performance. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  32. 32. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The subordinate creates the boss. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  33. 33. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The child creates the parent. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  34. 34. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The citizen creates the leadership. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  35. 35. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: Problem solving occurs to build relatedness. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  36. 36. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: A building and its rooms are created by how it is occupied. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  37. 37. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The student creates the teacher. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  38. 38. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The future creates the present. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  39. 39. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The listening creates the speaker. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  40. 40. Change Your Thinking Examples of inversion thinking: The openness to learn creates the teaching. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  41. 41. Change Your Thinking Doesn’t matter whether inverted thinking is true. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  42. 42. Change Your Thinking It’s which system of thinking is most useful and gives us more power. Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  43. 43. Change the Conversation Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  44. 44. Change the Conversation Certain conversations are satisfying and true yet have no power and no accountability. For example: •Telling the history of how we got here •Giving explanations and opinions •Blaming and complaining •Making reports and descriptions •Carefully defining terms and conditions Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  45. 45. Change the Conversation Conversational shifts that are other than just talk: •Invitation replaces mandate, policy and alignment •Possibility replaces problem solving •Ownership and cause replace explanation and denial •Dissent and Refusal replace resignation and lip service •Commitment replaces hedge and barter •Gifts replace deficiencies Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  46. 46. The Six Conversations Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  47. 47. One: The Invitation The elements of invitation are: • Naming the possibility • Who needs to be in the room • Attendance is a choice • What hurdle is required should they choose to attend • A strong request to attend • Picking the form of the invitation • What can we create together that we can not create alone? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  48. 48. Two: Possibilities A declaration of the possibility we stand for. Distinct from problem statements. Individual Questions: • What is the crossroads that you find yourself at this stage of your life or work or the project around which we are assembled? • What declaration of possibility can you make that has the power to transform the community and inspire you? Communal Questions: • What do we want to create together that would make the difference? • What can we create together that we can not create alone? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  49. 49. Three: Ownership The decision to become the author of our own experience. Distinct from blame, which is a form of entitlement. Individually answer & rate on 7-point scale, low to high: • How valuable an experience (or project, or community) do you plan this to be? • How much risk are you willing to take? • How participative do you plan to be? • To what extent are you invested in the well being of the whole? Later: • What have I done to contribute to the very thing I complain about or want to change? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  50. 50. Four: Dissent “No” is the beginning of commitment, without “no” there is no “yes”. Distinct from denial, lip service, rebellion or resignation. • What doubts and reservations do you have? • What do you want to say No to, or refuse, that you keep postponing? • What have you said yes to, that you do not really mean? • What is a commitment or decision that you have changed your mind about? • What forgiveness are you withholding? • What resentment do you hold that no one knows about? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  51. 51. Five: Commitment Commitment is a promise made with no expectation of return. Distinct from a barter agreement. • What promises am I willing to make? • What measures have meaning to me? • What price am I willing to pay? • What is the cost to others for me to keep my commitments, or fail in my commitments? • What’s the promise I’m willing to make that constitutes a risk or major shift for me? • What is the promise I am postponing? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  52. 52. Six: Gifts Change and an alternative future occur by capitalizing on our gifts and capacities. Bringing the gifts of those on the margin into the centre. Distinct from deficiencies. In circle, one person at a time receives statements of appreciation from others. • What gift have you received from another in this room? Tell the person in specific terms. • What is the gift you continue to hold in exile? What gift do you hold that no one knows about? What are you grateful for that has gone unspoken? Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  53. 53. Our Invitation How do we use the weeks leading into the 2010 municipal election as a catalyst for Torontonians to actively shape their desired future, one meaningful conversation at a time? Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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