Posted by: Memo | November 17, 2007

Pegasus – What’s it about?

Well, after percolating and flinging about ideas as to what I learned at Pegasus, I suppose I should explain what I thought Pegasus was going to be like. See, I had this notion that Pegasus–and this was my first impression–was all about corporate thinking, maximizing profit, enhancing the profit machinery to produce faster; managerial best practices, keeping the employee performing at optimal levels, etcetera, etcetera. I mean, what would you think when you read sentences like this:

  • Learn from accomplished leaders who understand the formidable capacity of purposeful networks
  • Practice using systems thinking tools and models to make sense of dynamic complexity
  • Build momentum for your own initiatives by connecting with a community of passionate change agents

Nancy Margulies drawingWhat the hell does all that mean? You see my point? Even after perusing the programs I still didn’t get it. So the day before the conference I attended the “Building the Conference Community” session, expecting the onslaught of the corporate-group think that global companies like IBM, Starbucks, Boeing and others like them use to reach global influence. After the first two minutes into it I changed my mind.

The most prevalent factor about this conference was about the power of words, of conversation, about how we relate to others, be they family, coworkers, or complete strangers. And it’s not the casual, day-to-day “Hey, what’s going on?” type of conversation–we don’t really expect an honest answer for that one, nor are we expected to respond to it but in a like manner–but really, honestly, openly, talking to another human being. And not just conversing, but listening too. Revolutionary? Not really. Astounding? Nope. Scary? You better believe it!

But in the context of this conference this scary aspect was quite liberating because we had to be vulnerable enough to be open to an exchange of ideas, aspirations, dreams, and personal philosophies with complete strangers. This is part of the psychological “safe” space that Meyerson covered in her presentation; of allowing for the flow of honest dialogue and feedback without the fear of psychological reprisal. The cool part was that this “power” of conversation was intuitively understood by pretty much everyone that attended.

So that was the underlying theme for this conference. And after hearing speakers like Van Jones, Peter Senge, Debra Meyerson, and others, it was easy to envision and experience a different kind of relational plateau–a way to interact with others that allowed you to first think about how you are contributing to society. In other words, what is your societal impact? How are your actions contributing to a positive or negative work/family environment? What is your psychological footprint in how you relate to others? What are you doing to relate to others in a caring, open manner? …do you see where this is going? It’s simple personal dynamics that is heady stuff nonetheless. But this conference encouraged that kind of thinking and those kinds of conversations.

So what’s Pegasus to me now? Well, I can tell you about it, but you’d really have to listen 🙂

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