Three years ago I first blogged about the idea of Unhurried. It emerged from a series of conversations with my friend Antony Quinn. We share an interest in improv theatre and were reflecting on scenes that were satisfying to take part in and watch – and those that weren’t. We realised that the best improv has an unhurried quality – the players seem to relate to each other and build the scene together without panic.
As in improv, so in life: I think this quality has a huge impact on how people work together. I’ve been experimenting with a number of ways of exploring how unhurried can guide creativity, collaboration and leadership.
One way I’ve applied this is in hosting unhurried conversations, using a simple talking piece format. I’ve now run over 50 of these in Cambridge. They’re advertised on meet up and open to the public. I’m now doing them in London too, and friends have started unhurried groups in Mallorca and Santa Cruz. I’m planning to kickstart a group in Sydney after Easter. Several people are talking to me about getting conversations started in other cities around the world. I’ve also used a similar format in my work as facilitator in organisations, sometimes with remarkable results.
Of course, this particular conversation process is just one way applying the idea of unhurried to work. But it has certainly helped me to flesh out what I think are the elements of unhurried as an approach. I’ve summarised them here on the unhurried website. As you’ll see, I don’t see unhurried as necessarily slowing down, although that is often the case. It’s really a mindset of being open to the possibilities of any given moment and being alive to them. And getting comfortable with both the anxiety and excitement that this brings.
It’s an approach that brings new insights to all kinds of things, from how we run meetings, to how we create new products, to how we lead organisations.
I’m hosting a free webinar about unhurried at work, on March 13th with two alternative times – full details here.
11.00 GMT (07.00 New York; 12.00 Paris; 19.00 Hong Kong; 22.00 Melbourne)
20.00 GMT (16.00 New York; 13.00 San Francisco; 21.00 Paris; 07.00 Tuesday Melbourne)
I’ll be sharing more ideas about unhurried in facilitation at my workshop in Cambridge on May 8 and 9. And when Viv and I run our three-day residential this year, we’re going to explore unhurried facilitation in lots of different ways.