The Truest Journalism

Keillor“Poetry is a record of the life around us and in us, and you’ll get a better idea from poetry what it was like to be alive in 2011 than you will from the New York Times.”

-Garrison Keillor

Where do we get the news from? We think we get it from newspapers, cable and television news and the internet, and these can be important sources of news, but how accurately do they record life around us?

On some level, they are all tainted by commercial interests. They will only go so far in offering us courageous and daring speech. Their honesty is suspect. Continue Reading »

The Little Things are Big Things — Part II

bored roomFrom “Auguries of Innocence”

To see a world in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

-William Blake

Yesterday I addressed room arrangement and began connecting it to engagement. Today I want to say more.

If leaders want more engagement and are not offering lip service, then they need to have meeting rooms set up so people connect, building relationship and interact. People can’t do this if the room is set up theater style or if there are big tables between them. Board rooms are terrible for genuine interaction.

Chairs in a circle are effective. People can face each other in a circle. But even in a large circle, people can become isolated very quickly. Continue Reading »

The Little Things are Big Things — Part I

chairs

From “Auguries of Innocence”

To see a world in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

-William Blake

On May 10th, I posted the poem above and talked about it in the context of seeing both the details and the big picture, useful skills for a leader.

Today and tomorrow I want to relate the poem to how rooms are set up for meetings.

The details of how the room is set up matter greatly. They are not incidental. They are the grains of sand and are a metaphor for what is permissible in the room and the future direction the group is headed.

For example, when you come in a room if the room is set up theater style with a dais and a podium for a speaker, then this is not a room set up for engagement or building community or strengthening democracy, even if that is the stated cause for the meeting. Continue Reading »