Disconnected people, Coffee, and Rabbit Holes

by | Aug 27, 2021 | Change |

coffee

Writing a proposal using a format designed decades ago and not updated since, is proving to be a challenging task. System change does not happen the same way as other change. Measuring how many people had enough food to eat today is quite different than measuring shifting mindsets. Logframes take a ‘logical’ approach in theory. If we do X and Y we will achieve Z.

However, very little of life works this way. X and Y can contribute, but there are almost always other factors at work. And projects never go according to plan as there are always unknowns and surprises. Systemic changes is full of surprises, things you can never know at the start. Part of the process is creating space for the unknowns to bubble up, for the surprises to show themselves.

And often systemic change is about connecting disconnected parts. Disconnected people. People not understanding each other. And sometime, or perhaps often, it’s not even knowing what the other is doing. We see only are part of the system, we forget there is a wider, broader picture. And all this unknowing leads to fear, lack of trust, and suspicion. In many ways, when we run into blockages, it’s worth considering if it is an indication of a disconnection.

Disconnection is resolved by connection. And this is often best facilitated by coffee and listening. And yes, it is rarely just one conversation, but rather a series of them in different formats.

And here’s the thing. When we put humans together in a space to listen and occasionally to talk, magic happens, but it’s not predictable. X and Y might result in Z, but that’s rare, it’s usually H or a non roman alphabet character like § or }. Change, especially systemic change, is rarely a predictable straight path. It’s a slow, meandering, Sunday afternoon walk full of distractions and rabbit holes. However, those walks are the stories we tell because it’s through them connections and relationships grow.

But none of that fits neatly into a logframe.

Photo by Jakub Dziubak

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