So I’m a map maker. I am a cartographer of my own learning, and I love making maps to help me understand where I am, where I have been, and where I might go.
Since being an active participant in the community of learners working with what we call the Art of Hosting, I have been fascinated with the maps we use that represent our ways of making sense of the world. I have been trying various ways to draw a grand map of all of these things, and here is my latest effort, a sketch I did today based on learning as recent as last week. Click here to get the large version of this, so you can read it.
These are drawn as a circle, to address the idea that the way we have been drawing our maps was too linear. This is a map that charts the territory of working in long term, large scale change efforts within complex living systems.
There is a lot here, so let me go through it is some detail. It’s a draft, a sketch and it changes about as fast as the territory does, so I’d appreciate your thoughts and noticings about it.
Circles within circles (black)
The two black circles are where we begin the one with the cross in it stands for the individual and the larger one stands for the social sphere. The personal sphere is divided into four quadrants and these extend out into the social sphere as well. Wilber’s integral quadrants map on to here if you put individual at the bottom and collective at the top and internal at the left and external at the right. It is this interaction that is what the Art of Hosting is all about.
The four stages of developing leadership in community
The naming of the quadrants in this map comes from Meg Wheatley’s and Debbie Frieze’s work with the Berkana Institute on the Lifecycle of Emergence. The green words are four stages for developing leadership in community and they translate well into individual leadership practices as well . These four stages are naming, connecting, nourishing and illuminating. These are practices that are alive in the relationship between people and the lives of groups.
Navajo concepts (light brown)
The light brown words delineate five spaces that reflect the Navajo cycle of collaboration, moving from Creation Space to Intention Space to Vision Space to Action Space to Renewal Space, again coming around to Creation Space again. In actual fact, this is a map of the unfolding of Creation Space, so if it helps, picture the point at which the two circles intersect as an infinite point.
These concepts are based on Navajo philosophy but are not orthodox interpretations of the same. They are simply the way Navajo facilitators and hosts are making sense of their work from a traditional context. These concepts were developed by the Shuprock Health Promotion team that we have been working with over the past year.
The Diamond of Participation redrawn (dark blue)
While the circles do look nested one within the other there is another shape tat they create together that is important. Travelling clockwise from the bottom of the diagram you will notice that the space between the circles grows and then shrinks away again. This is intentional. I have named these three phases after Sam Kaner’s three zones in the Diamond of Participation: Divergent phase, Groan Zone and Convergent Phase. This is the shape of an overall project, and it is a pattern that scales.
The Five Breaths (red)
In looking at large scale change, we work with a pattern called “The Five Breaths” which is a pattern of the life of a project, be it a meeting or a systemic shift. The five phases of this process are Call, Clarify, Invite/Design, Meet and Act. Each of the breaths is nested in the other and each one is experienced as diamond, with a divergent, emergent and convergent phase to it. Hosting and Harvesting as practice grounds live deeply in these diamonds.
On either side of the five breaths, in the spaces that are called Intention Space and Renewal Space, there is a think thread. On the left, this thread represents the call that is alive in someone from the moment of inspiration (or the threshold of longing, that red line at the bottom left) until the call is made. This thread, even held as an intention grows and attracts attention to work until a call blossoms. On the other side, beyond action, the thread fades away in what could be called the art of stewardship, an art that is about letting go of things once they are done. This line grows ever fainter until the thread of consciousness passes over the threshold of memory and all of our work is gone and forgotten. The ideal result of such a fading away is ripples of action and influence that emanate out as the legacy of a project or a life.
The Chaord (purple)
Chaos and order interact in Creation Space, where the chaos of the world intersects with the order we as individuals bring to making meaning of our world. This dance is generative and is both the source of all great work and the place to which it all returns. The chaord lives in the space between the threshold of memory and the threshold of longing, on the other side of doing. It is unintentional but conscious being-space.
The Chaordic Stepping Stones (light blue)
The chaordic stepping stones are some ways we help make sense of the journey. We use different stepping stones, and there are some that aren’t on this sketch that are listed elsewhere. All of them emerge from the lenses developed by the Chaordic Commons. They lie on the outside of the model more because they are tools. They are points of order in the chaos that surrounds work.
If anyone wants to take a crack at a more beautiful way to draw this, I’d love it. We could probably use it for the module Monica Nissen, Toke Moeller and I are doing at the Shambhala Institute this June, where we will be teaching much of what is on here.
Note: I’ve updated this post to reflect Meg Wheatley and Debbie Frieze’s ideas here. I had wrongly attributed them to my Navajo friends.