I’ve just finished a chat over Skype with Chris Corrigan. I wanted to pick his brains on a facilitation project I’m running. Chris was on his deck on Bowen Island watching the late night water taxi arrive from Vancouver, and seeing the harvest moon rising. In between giving me some great ideas for my project, Chris interspersed some audio commentary on what he was seeing – which was a sort of one minute vacation for me.
Clearly there was some sort of minute meme running as Chris gave a great example of how rules can support creativity, as in the radio show Just a Minute. A few simple rules for talking for one minute, producing decades of entertainment.
It was good to hear Chris enthusing about Open Space, a facilitation approach that uses a few simple principles to generate remarkable results. It’s about passion bounded by responsibility, in which participants are effectively asked what do you really care about? and why don’t you take care of it?. Open Space and Improv are approaches that share this favouring of simple rules to bound creative learning.
Chris also had some interesting things to say about spotting the difference between hands-off leadership and neglect. The challenge for a hands-off leader, who doesn’t want to micromanage, is to set some clear boundaries for people to work within, to create some banks for the river to flow in. I don’t suppose many of us immediately think of Nicholas Parsons as a leadership archetype, but maybe we should think again?