Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday 23 September 2007

Drawing to learn strategy

“What is so strategic in a drawing?”, my colleague wants to know. Apparently I have not been clear. And my drawings are even less. I try again. This time using better examples. I concentrate on learning from nature: “Artis Natura Magister”.

Drawing can be used to practice observing the situation, to understand what is important and what not. So you can act strategically. Take the landscape. It is a complex dynamic system. Its essence is change. To understand what is going on around him, Musashi must have taken in the landscape. The mountains, the forest, the stream. Then he saw a bird hopping from reed to reed. His drawing captures the moment just before the bird takes off again. His message may have been: “change occurs, timing is everything”.

The classical Chinese landscape offers apparently a very different picture. Not reduced to a reed stem and a bird. Here is abundance of information. Mountains, forest, streams. But when we look better we see the change. This time it is a lonesome traveler. Clearly he still has a long way to go to his final destination. And he has been on the road for quite some time. He crosses a bridge and to his relief he now can see in the distance the small village that may provide him with food and shelter for the night. The message may have been: “persevere, step by step you reach your goal.

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