Does it matter when you enter the conversation?

November 22, 2008

If you watched the Wizard of Oz or read the book you would be certain you know who the “good guys” are (The Wizard and Galinda) and who is evil (Elphaba – Wicked Witch). If someone asked you to bet on it, you would probably have taken the bet, I know I would have. That is until you see or read Wicked when you find out that what you thought you knew, you really didn’t know. You didn’t know the social and political context of the situation – that The Wizard and Galinda were discriminating against animals and Elphaba was organizing to save them. You were late to the scene and your knowledge and understanding was obscured by the timing of when you entered the story.

When you are leading organizations you often are coming in late to the conversation, especially when it is a larger organization and moving fast around the country or world. How do you know that you’re not experiencing the same gap of information that the reader of Wizard of Oz experienced by being late to the story?

What is the whole story? How do you suspend your prediction of where the group or organization is and dig deeperinto their shared reality?

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