Anything worth doing needs a central start of that Story. A trigger to get the narrative going and a way to open up the first emotional connection to possible collaboration. As so for the connecting character of Groundwater. After some debate the collaborating team came to an analogy of a fishing floater. This inspired this image of a local physical living environment, floating amidst all groundwater of Holland. It symbolises that groundwater crosses all municipal and regional boundaries and truly connects us all.
START WITH CONTEXT
This project ended up with the creation of two posters. The poster above communicates a shared path to a practical perspective forward, between all parties involved. Creating a shared context is key. Sharing the story about groundwater and the invisible ecosystems that lie below our feet is an important step to start up a process of stakeholder alignment.
. Once the stage has been set between all who have a stake in that physical living environment AND everyone has been made conscious about what stakes are on the table, it is time to start playing the GAME. By working through a map of what lies below, the stakeholders build a shared system of interdependencies, that shows where their stakes conflict and where they amplify each other. The navigator helps to bring the discussion to a shared program of action.
When we think together we create an opening to working together.
When we work together we create value.
When we create value together we can make anything happen… even turn trash into treasure!
One of the biggest challenges in the process of shared value creation is getting people together to talk and see how they are going to create more value by working together. In 2019 I worked together with Jurgen van der Heijden of AT OSBORNE and Ron Nap of the municipality of Apeldoorn to create an inspiring visual to get the talks about Collective Regeneration of Former Landfills (COREL) going (as part of an application for a European Subsidy for Regeneration.)
The complexity of the conversation you will need to have with all those involved lies in their difference of perspective & responsibility. The simplest way of dealing with this is by making these perspectives visible. When we start with the idea of regeneration, the conversation resides in the abstract. By framing the idea of change in a way that different people can work on the same goal together, we get to coordinate concrete projects that make repurposing landfills a reality.
The concept of reclaiming landfills is not a new one. Generally speaking resources would be extracted and the land given a new purpose. That purpose would most likely be something like a solar or wind energy park. During this process the reclaimed land would be given a new purpose, but it would not regenerate.
So …what if …you could create a multi stakeholder approach in which different stakes would be matched together as to be repurpose not by a singular stakeholder, but by a collaborative effort of multiple ones. This concept would take more time and work, but… if and when the system behind it works, society will profit as a whole. Not just the energy providers. An alternative project development process that would Reinvent Multi-functionality around landfills. Its a mouthful… and that is why you need a visual:
More information on this subject can be found in the online e-magazine (in dutch)
We tend to need a visual trigger to support a grand idea. But once we get beyond the idea and start to make plans to give structure to its realisation, we need to see what we are working on and who will be guiding the process. From my perspective the solution is quite simple. Make the system visible so everybody can claim their space and everyone can see the shared goal and multifunctional benefits of working together.
I am glad I can share this project. It has lead to a very promising collaboration with RWS and surrounding departments on our invisible connection with Groundwater… more on that later. Thank you Jurgen & Ron!
I have been following Rushab Chheda and Frans Taminiau ever since I visited their open table at The new business summit organised by World Start-up events somewhere in February 2020… just before the whole pandemic. I was blown away by the look and feel of their interlocking Bricks made out of Recycled plastic! At the time I was looking for a way to understand their product and create a story of their quest to use their engineering knowledge to create affordable housing suing recycled material.
When the event was done I had created a small roadmap sketch which I was happy enough to take to the next level, to get these guys to share their story BEYOND the product.
After some Zoom and Mural sessions we ended up in a lock-down. Bad for business, but good for taking stock of what you have done and clarify the path of where you are meant to be going. This process took us to the refined version of the sketch I had made in February.
So… now it is Oktober 2020. I took it upon myself to see where things are at the moment and not a moment too soon! Unibrick was just about to go online and start a new strategy on getting the Unibrick out there for people to start building with it themselves! The product itself is there and amazing to build with. From big Unibricks made for affordable housing (check out their website!) to the smaller mini Unibricks I got as a present to see what I would build myself!
Today…It is all about the brick… the UNIBRICK. What would YOU build with this amazing sustainable recycled resource? A bar? The ultimate Desktop? A garden wall experience? A visual connection point in a general or public space? A sustainable hotel room? A bathroom even…? There is so much to build.
Check out the website on www.unibrick.global and let’s see if we can get some ideation going to challenge Unibrick in its goal to reduce fabrication costs and move down then affordable housing roadmap.
Mildred has been part of my live for a decade now. First as a potential client, then as a challenge to visualise and now after 10 years of conferences and unique leadership meetings as a friend. Last year we collaborated with lots of other fans of the circular principle and created an event called the Dutch Conference for Circulair Leadership.
At this conference I had the task of listening for the stuff that was being said in-between the lines. Little did I know that the in between became the centre output of this conference. In Between? you might say…. In between what? The in-between in this instance is the path that lies between the current focus on linear Growth and the circulair alternative already owned by future leaders. What we are having difficulty with is the difference in language that is spoken on this path. As you decide to move away from a finite and crumbling system you find yourself on a road where it is hard to say the right thing. We are afraid of the risks that come with failing…. well that. is something you can read about in the new edition of the Optimist.
Lately I have aloud myself to listen more to my gut when it comes to helping people with their thinking. Shinta Oosterwaal is an extra-ordinairilly intuitive system worker, who shares her talent with executives and management teams who need to be brought to a next level of thinker and working together.
I really engaged with Shinta for the first time on a stormy day at the beach in Zandvoort. We had to find the right balance and flow of the Dutch Circular Leadership Conference and she blew my mind with her intuitive way of bringing a hole in our thinking into reality by literally revealing it to us by having us engage with the conference itself. This all sounds a bit free and high fly… but the breakthrough created the right tone we were looking for.
Now this is where things got interesting. In a zoom session Shinta explain here upcoming Phd research project where she will be looking for a way to prove how the development of the individual will usher in the remodelling phase of our new economy, post COVID 19, and therefore proving that a focus on personal development has a direct societal effect.
After Our talk, I was at the dentist office with my three kids and I drew out this sketch. It has been keeping me quite busy, because it perfectly aligns with the “flexible Focus” principle I have been embedding in my work after hearing about it from Mark Ordensky (executive producer of LOTR series). Each individual contribution to the shared development of a story (or a society for that matter) MATTERS!!!
I am so happy to be helping Shinta with this, because in actuality I am developing myself…;). Together we will have some kind of effect on society… can’t wait to see how I can make this visible!
Last year I was happy to see Mildred Hofkes reach a 5 year journey of nurturing and engaging C-level leaders in their attempts to get a grip on the new ways of governing the world. She gave a great speech in which she could now look back on my cases and crashed reputations to amplify her focus on new ways of collaborating and listening to move into a more sustainable future… bla bla bla… with less sugar on top: Dealing with Baby Boomers and their struggles to either move from or challenge the way they run things.
For me this has been an amazing ride along, with a back seat look at all of these people and the complexities of their stake (and share)holder issues. I have been making the change visible for some time now and we have now arrived at a point where talk needs to be translated into action. For this reason we created two new visuals.
First of we created a “simple”template that share a sparks the conversation around IN-activity. What if you do nothing… and let it burst? When people who on a daily basis deal with stakes and shares are confronted with this choice, their reactions are quite interesting. What does succes look like? And what are you prepared to do to make that happen?
Be the change!
The second is a bit more complex. It addresses 5 recognizable states. 5 horrible hurdles which almost make it impossible to changes without feeling the personal and organisational discomfort. Taking these issues on all at truly is impossible… This is why Mildred asks you to pick one and focus on it for 33 days! Based on a personal live trip she took to Bhutan she learned that any change can be made by a dedicated focus of “33”days. This was the experiment that ended 2016. 33 days of focus on 1 issue and see what happens. I tried it and my issue of organizing Feedback stayed with me every day… which is why this action can make a difference!
Of course the best way to pay tribute to this beautiful story, was by working on a new visual. Every time we meet and discuss these new values and old principles we reveal a little more of the path that lies ahead. Always a pleasure to see the cloud lift!
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