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Working Together

I read and heard about innovation several times over the the past few days. I was professionally developed yesterday and it came up again. The person indicated innovation is half-formed ideas bumping up against each other as we share them. I wondered about that, because it suggests we work together, collaborate, and recognize the interdependent nature of humans and the world they live in together. I rarely see this and I doubt a bureaucratic mindset is one that embraces those features of innovation. I read recently, and I apologize about a lack of reference, that it is not enough to show up. We need to do something when we get there. David Whyte summarized this beautifully in the following poem.

We shape our self
to fit this world
and by the world
are shaped again.
The visible
and the invisible
working together
in common cause,
to produce
the miraculous.
I am thinking of the way
the intangible air
passed at speed
round a shaped wing
holds our weight.
So may we, in this life
to those elements
we have yet to see
or imagine,
and look for the true
shape of our own self
by forming it well
to the great
intangibles about us.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

25 responses »

  1. Ivon – Je me excuse – I have been on vacation and have been deleting emails for 2 days upon my return. Wonderful post. I have missed so many. I believe it is my biggest concern and perhaps fear… That I miss something!!

  2. We’re like water. Affecting, and also accumulating. 🙂

  3. I like the concept and the poem! Thank you, Ivon.

  4. and look for the true
    shape of our own self
    by forming it well
    to the great
    intangibles about us.

    I think these words are absolutely magnificent. “The great intangibles around us” just wonderful Ivon. Thank you.

  5. Interesting Ivon – the imperative to ‘show up’ that to my knowledge never includes the reality that once there, you have to do something. Engage. Be a part. Share. For if one doesn’t, are they really showing up at all?

    • What a great question Mimi. You are probably onto something in that. There in body, but not there in spirit is the adage. After some thinking, I realized the line came from Seth Godin’s blog.

  6. I would like to sit together with you, and others, to exchange ideas ….

  7. Innovation is difficult, whether in a public bureauchracy or in a private company because it requires a high level of trust and a high tolerance of ambiguity/change – going with the flow. We tend to want to be secure and are more comfortable with the familiar – innovation could lead to new developments that we can not foresee or control.

  8. Innovation is one of the many faces of creativity, and a beautiful one at that. It is different in the hands of every person… and sometimes the ideas bounce off one another, sometimes they collide, and sometimes the dance… like the poem too.


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