Where do you go for inspiriation? Frances Moore Lappe

Frances Moore Lappé is probably known to some of you for her book Diet for a Small Planet. In November 2010 she spoke at the Pagasus systems thinking conference in Boston USA. One of the themes from the conference was how important it is to get to the ‘root of the root' in order to fully understand what's really happening, and what's needed. Frances has been digging into democracy and contributed thought provoking comparisons of powerlessness and powerfulness in the context of what she describes as a living democracy. 

What's the relevance for OD? Have a look at her website and scroll down to the discussion documents and tools, along with the spirals of powerlessness and powerfulness diagrams. http://www.smallplanet.org/democratic-life/living-democracy

How would it look if you translated her spirals into a description of your organisation and what spirals people into powerlessness? Then turn it around and identify the factors that build powerfulness in everyone and create organisational democracy. Exercises like this can help us to get to the root of the root and obtain clarity about what we're trying to change. Frances also provides an excellent overview of power, along with a checklist for living:
• Am I expanding and spreading power?
• Am I easing the fear of change and the fear of the other?
• Am I learning and teaching the arts of democracy?
• Am I creating movement that's sustainable?
• Am I replacing a limiting frame with an empowering one?

Food for thought for us all as we work on change and OD initiatives within our organisations.