Poetry in Motion

by Jan Yuill

The Network of Organizations Alive! Practitioners met on September 14th to explore the use of Poetry in Facilitation. Don Officer, one of our members, facilitated the session. We were hosted by Linda Vanderlee at Rendezvous Rupert.

Some notes from the meeting are posted on the website, but I wanted to summarize here some of the insights about poetry and facilitation, using the Organizations Alive! Model as a lens. Put very simply:

  1. When using poetry in an organization, we are referring primariy to Membership Potential. Poetry is a personal creation. It taps a person’s gifts, experiences, sense of humour, emotions, hopes, values, etc. Poetry comes from the heart.

    From the Membership Potential quadrant, people, and their poetry, can influence, and be influenced by, the other three Success Factors.

  2. It can have an impact on, and be influenced by, the Strategic Vision. Poetry written by members of the organization can express the vision in a personal manner – the inspiration, the frustration, the clarity, the contradictions. It can raise awareness and paint word pictures of the mission and purpose that people are trying to make happen. Poetry can be used to strengthen the understanding, commitment, and focus of the intentions of the organization.
  3. It can have an impact on, and be influenced by, Customer Service – on the relationships that members have with their clients, colleagues, and competitors. Poetry can be used to get to know each other better, to break down walls between us, to mend fences, to speak the unspeakable, to inject some laughter, to change paradigms, and to help create understanding.
  4. And it can have an impact on, and be influenced by, the way the work is done – on Resource Management. People write about the work that they do. The workplace provides great fodder for verse!

This is not nearly all of our discussions
There was really sooooo much more
But it gives you a taste of our meanerdings
You should have been there … to explore!

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