Tag Archives: commongood

Being an Other-fucused Person Can Contribute Greatly to the Common Good!

Change the World: How Ordinary People Can Accomplish Extraordinary Results by Robert E. Quinn (2000)

I like this book. I recommend it to people that are thinking about how a family, group, organization or big system (like a government) moves forward, backward or becomes stagnant. He makes the point that what seem unchangeable might, in fact, be changeable. Also like the book because it sets out the kind of tasks and paths that reasonable normal people might benefit from following to move a family, group, organization or big system toward the common good.

 

This book is ambitious and, as a result, paints a clear broad picture of what it takes to contribute to and impact groups or large systems. Complexity is embraced by the author and, therefore, his change method is not the norm. He explains and makes sense of the challenge to focus on the common good (What Quinn also called the ‘journey of collective fulfillment’) for organizations and groups of people.

 

Quinn makes the point that he feels that ordinary people can become profoundly affected as change agents.

 

Change_the_World_Quinn

 

Change the World: How Ordinary People Can Accomplish Extraordinary Results by Robert E Quinn (2000)

This book is ambitious and as a result paints a clear broad picture of what it takes to be in groups or large systems. Complexity is embraced by the author and therefore his change method is not the norm.

He explains and makes sense of the challenge to focus on the common good (What Quinn also called the ‘journey of collective fulfillment’) for organizations and groups of people. Quinn makes the point that he feels that ordinary people can become profoundly affected as change agents.

I like this book. I recommend it to people that are thinking about how a family, group, organization or big system (like government) moves forward, backwards or becomes stagnant. He makes the point that what seem unchangeable might in fact be changeable. I also like the book because it sets out the kind of tasks and paths that reasonable normal people might benefit from following to move a family, group, organization or big system toward the common good.

What does it mean to get better at thinking together?

Most of us would likely agree that it is pretty easy to think with people who hold a similar set of thoughts that we hold. Yet, truly thinking with others means thinking with those who might look at things very differently from you.

When you effectively engage with others who think differently than you, you can learn a lot. To do this – to engage – means you will listen and probe with the intent of increasing your understanding of beliefs or points of view different from your own.

When you engage with this kind of sincerity, it is wise to be ready to potentially experience a sense of disequilibrium.

Disequilibrium is a potentially productive platform for learning.  Obviously, not the kind of imbalance that is shattering.  More, the kind of creative disequilibrium that pushes us to ponder our own current thinking and consider changes in our thinking.  From this kind of experience – new thinking may develop.

And, if the person who shared their thinking with you is willing to listen to and probe your thinking – and go through the same reflective process – then each of you may benefit from new emergent thinking.

As you face the challenges of today and the future – intentionally thinking with others who think differently from you is a good thing.

Get_better_thinking_together,_anyway

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Appreciate the present, dream about the preferred future and move toward the dream!!

The future is a terrible thing to waste. And yes, the future is unknown.

What is known is that: 1.) we are here today and 2.) how we act and what we focus on today that will potentially impact the future.

So, each of us has some choices about – how we act and what we focus on.

We face many challenges of:

poverty – local, regional and global,

thinking trough our interconnectedness and interdependence (our social responsibility) to improve sustainability – at the micro and macro levels,,

fast paced technological change leaving some far behind,

tapping and developing the potential of all young people through educational opportunity around the world, and

many more challenges.

Let’s ask ourselves: What kind of future do we want for our communities, our region our world?  How much do we value the common good?

My answers can be summed up by this Gandhi quote: “I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good for the greatest number.  The only real, dignified doctrine is the greatest good for all.”

As the United Nations encourages improvement in situations around the world it describes ‘development’ as meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” – from the World Commission on Environment and Development’s (the Brundtland Commission) report Our Common Future (1987).

This thinking is consistent with the Great Law of the Iroquois Nation which is often quoted as: “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation.”

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Behaving in ways that respect the future and the common good is not a new idea.

I believe that for me and other persons living today, that there are real accessible ‘practices’ and ‘points of focus’ that do address issues of the common good.  They may not be easy to discover or act on, yet how we act and what we focus on matters.

The future of our children and grand children, let alone the futures of generations yet to bone – these futures should be our motivation.  The challenges are many for each of us to “grow” these efforts.  And the future is worth it!

Let’s use the present to get to the future.  How can we build upon our current strengths and opportunities to move toward a desired future?

Action is a better than doing nothing.