Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Think In New Ways

During the summer I spend a lot of time traveling, meeting new people in new places. Inevitably one of the first topics of conversation is the proverbial what do you do? I usually ease my way into the conversation by saying I am a consultant. As expected, the comeback is what do you consult about? Sometimes I have trouble explaining what I consult about because working to improve the effectiveness of a group of people that work together is different at each place, with each group, within each different industry. I don't really have my two minute elevator speech down. The other day I came across this poem by Robert Bly, and I think I shall adapt his first line to create my answer from now on because it is really the key to doing differently, to doing new things, and to doing same things with a renewed spirit.

I teach people that work together to think in new ways --
simple, to the point, under two minutes, authentically descriptive. I like it!

Things To Think by Robert Bly

Think in new ways you've never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you've ever hear,
vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he's about
to give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time, or that it's
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

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