I’ve just listened to a podcast with Johnnie Moore, Mark Earls and Rob Poynton about the benefits of not planning. This is what attracted me to the podcast initially, and while this is where it began, it’s where their discussion ended that excited me. Their conversation covered the dynamics of influence and control, how improv games can elicit insight, the legacy of mechanisation, facilitation and human intelligence.
Here’s some of their collective wisdom that I noted (I couldn’t always work out whose words were whose all the time, but it was a collaborative process so I’m sure they’ll all gladly take ownership).
Improv games bring us all up against our inner control freak … as a facilitator we’re always working with our own control impulse.
Improv enables influence, not power.
(In workshops) people over think, they work too hard.
Reconnecting to my capacity in the moment – as a facilitator I can’t manage the group so I’m managing my own anxiety.
Intelligence is between us, not within us.
This last message was the most powerful for me.
I came away with the importance of connection – with people and with ideas and with myself – reinforced and affirmed. When facilitating it’s important for me to remain connected – to the group, to the purpose, to my own anxieties. And that connection often comes from being still, noticing more and doing less (as I’ve learnt from Johnnie and improv).
And I also came away with an understanding, at last, of what Dave Pollard means when he talks about his gravitational community. Johnnie is a friend, but I’ve not met Mark Earls or Rob Poynton (although I’ve read their books, Herd and Everything’s An Offer) and I certainly feel they could be part of my gravitational community, people whose ideas and conversations align and challenge, who are generous and willing to share not only their insights, but also their fears and anxieties, questions and musings. This, for me, is the heart of connection.