HRINZ Conference 2005 Working Through Values Working Through Values  

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ORIENTATION SESSION - Mary Alice Arthur

Hello there and thanks for attending the HRINZ Conference Orientation -- I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did!

As you remember, I said that we were going to put the focus on inquiry, for three reasons and that there were some questions you could ask yourself around these reasons:

Our knowledge is hidden in stories. When do we make space for stories?
Together we know more. When and how do we make space for collaboration?
From focus comes commitment. What are we focusing on?

I suggested that we were “living in interesting times”, times of complexity (where things are non-linear and don’t respond in a logical fashion), competing priorities (where identifying, managing and flowing around the dynamic tensions are the only way to cope) and collapse (the old ways no longer work, but we don’t know what the new ways are). I then said that I think there’s only one thing to do in the face of complexity — begin to live in the land of “I wonder”.

This means letting go control, in fact, ‘out of control’ = creative. Forget focusing on answers, in complexity, questions are key. As Peter Block says: “Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers. His book, The Answer to How is Yes, will give you a whole new way to look at working life and some great questions to ask. Moving from “I know” to “I wonder” is a stance that helps everyone to grow and contribute.

So here are the values questions from the session:

PERSONAL VALUES
What values form the rudder of your working life and why? What do you need to reconsider or reconfirm?

ORGANISATIONAL VALUES
What are the most positive values your workplace embodies? How will you begin to tell this story?

DEVELOPING VALUES
If anything were possible, in what powerful and provocative way would you develop values within your organisation right now?

SOCIAL VALUES
When you think about your organisational values, in what way could they be powerfully expressed in the community?

I thought you might also like to hear Peter Block’s favourite question at the moment -- “What question is it, that if answered, would set you free?”.

Here’s my tip for a great resource: 75 Cage Rattling Questions to Change the Way You Work: Shake-Em-Up Questions to Open Meetings, Ignite Discussion, and Spark Creativity by Dick Whitney & Melissa Giovagnoli.

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