I’m using this last week of writing to complete some unfinished (or un-started) articles, which have been sitting patiently, awaiting my attention. Yes: you are correct that there is another week to go until Christmas, but that’s dedicated to uninterrupted book writing. Today’s piece is a title that i wrote in August, ‘Crossing Fault Lines’, and it relates to some language i often use around cultural failure. When culture fails, when it is tolerant of toxicity, it has not failed uniformly. Culture is not like the tide. Instead, it may fracture, leaving behind a number of highly coherent, but separated, tribes. What is missing is the interconnection between them.
The notion that i had tried to capture with that title is the idea that Social Leadership includes the ability to cross fault lines. If we remain within our known and trusted space, within our known communities, then we may be comfortable, but isolated and, ultimately, perpetuating the division. Instead, we need to find storytelling, and story listening, approaches, to bridge the gaps.
More recently, you may have seen me writing about the intertwined systems of the Socially Dynamic Organisation, or within the Change work, talking about ‘bridging conversations’. Both of these build upon this notion of crossing fault lines.
What would this look like? An ability to reach beyond our know spaces, into communities of difference. An ability to shape spaces to hear stories of difference, and a storytelling capability to share stories of difference.