Reading Peter Block

Results are achieved when members of a system collectively choose to move in a certain direction. It is this act of choice that is critical. … No change – no matter how wise and needed – will help if there is not a widespread and deep sense that each individual exercising choice and working together must make this work.
~ Peter Block, Flawless Consulting, 3rd edition

That’s from Flawless Consulting – I’m nearing the end of the audiobook. Not for nothing do we have “Agree on outcomes” as principle #2!


Lasting impressions:

  1. The power of authenticity – impressed that he makes it such a practical issue without in any way risking cynicism. I was reminded of Schein and I make this connection explicit in the Advanced workshop
  2. His regard for “whole system” and positive, asset/strength/gift-based approaches (as opposed to the more traditional “3rd party” consulting model).

You get the sense that he has been on a bit of a journey on that second one. I’m planning a longer blog post on the issues there in the context of Lean-Agile transformation.

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One thought on “Reading Peter Block

  1. Both Lasting Impressions resonate with me and with the body of work I connect most readily with (Clean and Systemic Modeling – both outcome oriented, resource based approaches).

    And… Authenticity and what I think of congruence require some amount of personal development work. As James Lawley said last night – it took him some time to be able to say something like: ‘That bit of work is not good’ without ‘feeling’ contempt towards the person he was saying those words to. I feel like there is another element that is needed for ‘working together in agreement’… That is, the ability to hear a message such as ‘your idea is not accepted’, without feeling that ‘I’ was not accepted. So, while Agendashift provides a nice framework to hold the elements of exploration, outcomes, mapping, and experiments for action – a lot of other bits in personal behavior have to align to make the gears work really really well.

    It has been a while since I’ve read Peter Block, but was really grateful for his writing at the time.


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