What I do

6 January 2009 0 By Viv McWaters

So I’ve been doing some exploring; reflection, I guess. Trying to figure out what on earth I actually do and if it adds any value. Most of the time I’m quite happy with the ambiguity and the adventures that that brings. Some days, like today, I’d like to be able to say something concrete, like “I’m a builder” or “I’m a writer” or “I’m a pastrycook” – anything that’s concrete, and obvious.¬†

I’m a facilitator. What does that really mean? I don’t think I’m alone either. There’s so many new roles emerging all the time, many of them are hard to describe. Blogger, social media expert, digital (anything). Roles I don’t even know how to describe.

It’s not so much a label as clarity that I’m searching for. I think I’m getting close. I started with what I love – improv theatre, ideas, creativity, play…

Then I thought about those times when I could bring them all together. Where was I? What was happening? What did I see and experience? Well, people working together, excitement, playfulness, self-reflection, learning and surprise. This is what I want to be able to bring more of to work. To my work and to the work of others. Whether that work is paid employment, working with the community, or in not-for-profits. There are many faces to work.

And, as usual, my friend Johnnie Moore says it so much better than I can!

I’m currently reading¬†Everything’s an Offer, by Rob Poynton. He is probably the most articulate thinker about the value of improvisation in organisations. His book is a real treat.

I’m also reading Everything’s An Offer at the moment and I completely concur with these comments.

(Johnnie again) When I met Rob a few years ago, he said something that lodged deeply in my mind. He repeats in in his book (my emphasis):People laugh at improvisation not because it is funny, per se, but because it is joyful. If you go to an improv show and watch the audience rather than the players, what you will see is that they aren’t laughing at jokes.

Even though Rob told me this a long time ago, I still feel excited by this observation. Organisations are absolutely rife with demands for deliverables, for measurable and concrete results but take this too far and you easily miss the gigantic fuel that really keeps the whole operation alive – the interplay between participants.

That word joyful has sat with me for a while. For now, what I plan to do is ‘bring joy and enthusiasm to work” – to my own and to others’. I’m happy with that.