We often say that something raises more questions than answers as if that's a bad thing - but perhaps it's a more dangerous state of affairs when we have more answers than questions.
Many of the recent conversations in the Club have focused on the power of writing to identify and explore good questions, and the work that needs to be done to communicate the answers.
Gillie Bolton on the power of reflective practice to allow us to range more freely as we explore;
Sarah Rozenthuler on capturing questions in real time;
Dave Coplin on the power of open questions to create unexpected connections;
Pippa Malmgren on exploring big questions with other big brains;
Jonas Altman on involving other brains even when they're not in the room;
Alise Cortez on exploring questions with a wide range of others in public;
Uri Bram on making the answers to questions as easy as possible for readers to access;
and Jasper Sutcliffe on communicating the value of your answers to readers asking the right questions.
'The writing process took about four years and the actual material gathering for the book probably took more like 15 years...'
Sarah Rozenthuler, psychologist, leadership consultant and pioneer of purpose-led leadership, has been working for many years now with individuals, teams, and organizations. In this week's conversation we discuss how purpose plays out at those three levels, and also how writing Powered by Purpose drew not only on her own experience but involved the input of a team of supporters and challengers.
We also discuss how her practice as a reflective practitioner enabled her to capture insights and questions that would otherwise be lost over those years.
"As writers, what we need to do is find an occasion when that usher is off duty and we can get up there and nip behind the curtain."
Gillie Bolton essentially founded the discipline of reflective practice, having discovered for herself that writing allowed her to go behind the curtain that separates so much of our mind's inner workings from the 'stage' that we present to the world.
She tells me more about how her own journey, about why six minutes is the perfect length of time for an initial exploratory writing session, and how her Quaker values infuse her own writing and work.
A joy of a conversation.
‘It is good to speak to the future, the future will listen.’
Those were the words of Ptahhotep, an ancient Egyptian vizier, who lived back in the 25th century BC. He was right - more right than he probably imagined in his wildest dreams: because he wrote those words down (well, OK drew them as hieroglyphs), he is heard so many thousand years later.
But writing as speaking to the future isn't just about writing for posterity. In this episode we explore exploratory writing - the kind of writing you do for future you, rather than a future reader. How can we use writing as a tool and framework to help us think more clearly and more creatively?
This kind of writing - where you are your only reader - is your secret weapon in a world where the future is so uncertain and the pace of change so fast.