By Keith Coats
Our team conversations have grown stale. We are in a state of ‘death by agenda’ and there is no spark, zip or animated discussion anymore. What can I do?
Borrow something from a ‘literary Master’. Find a paragraph or some dialogue from a great novel that you introduce as a springboard to discuss at your next team meeting. Let me give you an example from something I read from one of my favourite authors, the late Terry Pratchett. This particular excerpt is from his wonderful novel, Nation that concerns itself with the end of the world.
“I will not be trapped in a shell again, because…yes, there has to be a because…because…any shell will be too small. I want to know why. Why everything. I don’t know the answers, but a few days ago I didn’t know there were questions.
Pilu was watching him carefully, as if uncertain whether he should run or not.
He’s frightened of me, Mau thought. I haven’t hit him or even raised my hand. I’ve just tried to make him think differently, and now he’s scared. Of thinking. It’s magic. (Nation, page 174/5)
From this (edited) excerpt there would multiple questions to seed further reflection and conversation. Questions such as: