Put the Conversation First

Fishbowl session in Sydney. Photo credit: Michelle Ockers

Put conversation first.  There is nothing more powerful than real conversation. Generative discussion is far more likely to engage, inspire and create value than a presentation or a recitation of an individual’s expertise. 

I first saw deep generative conversation in adaptive leadership work. Creating a container for a conversation, being able to surface tensions and explore a whole system generates a new perspective for leaders.  Conversations like these, can be the foundations for new more effective action.

My passion for working out loud is shaped by the value that I have experienced in putting ego in the background and working with others aloud on ideas and actions.  The growth of working out loud globally is testament to the fact that my views are not isolated.

The Anti-panel is another example of work where the value of fostering a real and diverse conversation can be seen.  Through multiple formats, engaging a conference audience to create their own panel session has been insightful & rewarding.

Next week I am putting another generative conversation format to the test.  Along with Charles Jennings, Rene Robson, Cheryle Walker and Andrew Gerkens we will be discussing learning and performance in a fishbowl format. I have been a part of a number of fishbowl conversations before. Each have been intense, engaging and insightful experiences because they bring the audience into the panel conversation, focus on a conversation and create an atmosphere of collaboration in the discussion and the surrounding audience.

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