Meetings as Dynamic Learning Systems

I recently conducted a workshop for senior executives, each of whom had previously spent a week with me learning the principles of positive leadership. Although they were from the same organization, they came from different cohorts and so some were strangers to each other. Yet because of our previous history together, there was instantaneous trust. They trusted me, and knowing they shared a common experience in learning positive leadership, these strangers behaved like friends.
They also shared a common hunger. They desired to learn at the same level as they did in the first experience. So things started faster than usual.
I began by asking them to do an exercise that required sharing intimacies. There was zero hesitation. They poured out stories of things they did because of what they learned about positive leadership. The stories brought a shared sense of awe. I then presented new material that was challenging. Instead of expressing normal doubt, they grabbed the concepts and openly explored possible applications.
As we proceeded, they were making discoveries in real time and there was contagious energy in the room. We were filling each other with positive emotions. We could see new possibilities. We were building possible futures. We loved what was happening.
When we feel attracted to a higher purpose and engage it enthusiastically with heart and mind, we become whole. When multiple people do the same, the group becomes whole. The group becomes a dynamic learning system making a noble contribution. We create collective intelligence and we feel joy in the process and outcome.

  • When have you been in a meeting that was a dynamic learning system?
  • In your last meeting, were people hungry to be there? Why or why not?
  • What would cause people to arrive at and later leave your meetings with a sense of joy?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?


4 comments on “Meetings as Dynamic Learning Systems

  1. Hi Bob,
    I go to a meeting almost every Thursday night and we engage in positive learning from each other. We get a chance to facilitate a couple meetings, and as those who facilitate teach, there is the knowledge that we also learn as we teach. This has opened up a great sense of listening and respecting each other’s ideas and comments.
    Since starting with this group I go to it hungry to learn from my ‘friends’ and to also share what I have learned in the past week or so. This group has become like family and it brings me joy to know of the acceptance and growth we all felt.
    I have come across a lot of leaders not willing to share information and knowledge because it would be then make them ‘not matter’ to the workers. I have found the more information that is shared with me the better of an employee I become and the more appreciative I am of my leader.
    No matter where we are in life there is always going to be a hunger if we allow ourselves to open to the possibilities of learning and growing with one another. Instead of hoarding the information, share it to those that needs to know, learn from the insight others may have, and become the ‘family’ that produces the joy of wanting to be at work and feel accomplished in what they do.

  2. Not only asking for input but listening and applying people’s shared input will encourage people to continue to think deeply and share openly. Conventional management seems to think, “I’ll listen to people and arrive at my own decision.” This causes people to no longer share authentic ideas and thoughts and the manager is left to his own wisdom to run thing vs the wisdom of the collective.

Leave a Reply