Just an ingredient

Ingredients Sichuan Cucumber by FotoosVanRobin, on Flickr

Ingredients Sichuan Cucumber by FotoosVanRobin, on Flickr

As I’m busy preparing for a workshop on how to effectively facilitate collective learning in workshops, I came across a quote that nicely captures one of the key themes of collective and collaborative learning:

“If you see yourself as an ingredient, it means you always have to be on the look out for other ingredients to work with and a recipe to combine them together. Think like an ingredient and you see you have to collaborate to get anything done.”
Charles Leadbeater

Maybe it’s because I love cooking, but the metaphor of “seeing yourself as an ingredient” suggests interesting ways to shift our view of ourselves and our relative importance in collaborative endeavours:

  • What kind of ingredient am I?
  • How much of me needs to go into the mix?
  • What other ingredients do I need to connect with?
  • What’s a good recipe for us to work on?
  • What kind of experiment can we do with the ingredients we have on hand?

What shifts when you start thinking of yourself as an ingredient?

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