Plan and Let Go
Today Patrick and I are making beer and bread. Both processes involve an approach that works well in lots of situations, I find. First, you plan and prepare carefully, making sure you have the right materials, and combining them in a specific way, under optimal conditions.
Then, you let the ingredients work together to create a new thing. You stop messing around with them and allow them to combine and evolve.
Once you've done all that, you have to put it aside and trust that it's going to rise.
It's just like doing a vision and strategy session with a group. I like to think that the group's felt need is the activating agent. Then you put together the right ingredients – the right people in the room, the right information, the right process. Then you knead it – that's where good facilitation comes in.
At that point, you have to let it go. And if you've done everything well and carefully up till then, it will most likely evolve to create a new thing – a vision for the future, a sense of clarity and possibility about that future, and a feasible and practical map for getting there. Voila! Sometimes it can seem almost magical.
I started this process with the editorial group at Newsday last week. Because they're in a newsroom environment, where it's almost impossible to take two full days for this process, as we usually do, we're doing it in three 4-5 hour sessions, spread out over about 6 weeks. (We did it this same way last summer for the senior team at The Early Show, and it worked very well; so I felt pretty confident when I recommended this approach to the Newsday folks.)
We're early in the rising process…but I have a feeling this is going to be really tasty.