Interesting stuff You are doing there, Tim... I wonder whether You find it
important to provide your corporate participants with definitive cues when
entering the play or dramatic modes within everyday organizational
communication? It seems to me to be especially important to know that I
have "permission" to enter play mode, in order to let the freedom and
imagination really rip. It would then need a clear "closure ritual" in
order to "come down" again, and play by the accepted rules again.
I am thinking here of the definitive cues in animal behaviour when
entering play mode as described in the Spring 1995 edition of ReVision on
"Evolution and Play". There is an incredible description and photos of
play between a polar bear and a huskie.
One of the creative off-shoots of software development, object-oriented
style, is the ability to rapidly prototype all sorts of solutions to a
design issue, play with them with little risk, and learn what really needs
to go into the design. It is how We have been developing our simulation
software over the past 6 years. It seems to me that play is a kind of
rapid prototyping, and that High Play can be a supportive environment for
rapid prototyping with little risk, which has a meta-purpose. One takes
the prototype as a candidate for a working solution, and plays with it
(i.e. does not make a serious commitment to using it)..... after a number
of prototypes (all the while learning from each one), the one that fits
the best, becomes the candidate for commitment into the design. Of
course, the current fashion of Genetic Programming does this as well.
Tobin describes the origins of his use of High Play as stemming from Jean
>> "She seemed to
use the term to point in the direction of play at the edges of human
knowledge and awareness. As I understand it, it is a spiritual level of
play, an enlightening experience of the cosmic dance. Complexity, chaos,
paradox, wisdom, and foolishness abide there, and occasionally a few souls
experience that realm and return to tell of it."
I am reminded again of the metaphor of "Life at the Edge of Chaos"
promoted by the Complex Adaptive Systems people at the Santa Fe
Instititue.... Perhaps We are most alive when dancing at the edge of
chaos, too much chaos and there is disintegration, too much stability and
there is a kind of death.... The ReVision articles suggest that this kind
of play is crucial for evolution, and I would generalize to "health". It
suggests to me that the far reaches of this metaphor ought to be explored
as an essential part of the human condition, for our everyday lives and
for our organizations. Any ideas?
-- Doug Seeley: Compuserve 100433.133 Fax: 41 22 3957 InterDynamics Pty Ltd. (Australia) in Geneva, Switzerland. "Choice and Chance are One."