Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

SF from Treebeard in Lord of the Rings?

I was sent this very nice quote by Kamila Novokova a few weeks ago. I think it sums up quite a lot about SF practice, and also how to act not-knowingly and still to act. It comes from the part where Treebeard, an ent (tree-shepherd), is carrying Merry and Pippin. They are very unsure about what's going on, having never seen an ent before...

Merry: "Would you think it rude, if we asked what you are going to do with us, and which side you are on?"

Treebeard: "'I am not going to do anything with you: not if you mean by that 'do something to you' without your leave. We might do some things together. I don't know about sides. I go my own way; but your way may go along with mine for a while."


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Comment by Kamila Novakova on May 24, 2008 at 0:11
Dear Arthur,
Thank you for your explanation, I think my previous comment was brilliant example of useful misunderstanding.
Please, keep use your "lens of playfulness" - this way of thinking is an essential spice that gives unique favour to any human activity. :)
BTW, I tried to visit your "temporary website" to read more about your workings on complexity, but the link unfortunately didn't work. Could you give me any suggestion, where to learn more, please? Thank you.
Best wishes, Kamila
Comment by Arthur P. Battram on May 22, 2008 at 9:05
Sona Pechackova. Excellent. All native english speakers will immeadiately assume wise befuddling guru of obscure discipline. Perfect.

Kamila, the most annoying thing about the Tolkein quote is how good it is!

Perhaps I should explain that I do not work with businesses very much, especially not ones that would be happy to be described as 'thrusting'. Also, I like quotes of relevance to my work regardless of their origin. One of my favourite quotes on leadership comes from Frank Herbert, as does my favourite quote on ecosystems and adaptation. Also, you should beware of my playfulness in my comments. Some of the darkest and brightest truths can only be contemplated through the lens of playfulness.
Comment by Arthur P. Battram on May 22, 2008 at 8:59
Kisten, just why do IT folk like tolkein about walking trees so much?
Comment by Arthur P. Battram on May 22, 2008 at 8:58
Mark, my hat goes only when you get rid of that equally ridiculous waistcoat!
Comment by Kamila Novakova on May 21, 2008 at 23:48
Hi Arthur, thank you for your comment.
To be accurate, this quote was taken from the "Report on systemic approach" - a thesis written by Sona Pechackova at 1991 (and published by Institute for Systemic Experience in 1992 in Czech Republic).
Though I am not Tolkien's orhodox follower, I like this quote as it can illustrate the essence of SF approach quite well... From my point of view it would be a pitty to decline any kind of inspiration only for the reason of its non-business (non-scientific, etc. etc.) origin.
Being a manager, working with managers (and occassionaly teaching HR management at the univesity) I am used to utilize any possible source of inspiration, however unconventional it might seem to be (pls, see e.g. and I am amazed myself, how well it works!
I do not like to bother you with Tolkien more, anyway I won't appologize for seeding the seeds of narrative approach in SF community... I think there is enough space for "thrusting businessfolk" as well as for Tolkien's quotes (or at least, I hope for it)... :)
Best wishes, Kamila
Comment by Mark McKergow on May 21, 2008 at 19:21
Hi Arthur, in which case remove that ridiculous hat! ;-)
Comment by Kirsten Dierolf on May 21, 2008 at 17:40
unless you are in the IT-business ...
Comment by Arthur P. Battram on May 21, 2008 at 9:17
Excellent quote, Mark. and [not but] I can't stand the ents because they are a new-age hippy wet dream, and Tolkein generally doesn't exactly help to improve the image of SF in the minds of thrusting businessfolk. Great quote, but can we please, publicly at least, continue to be Tolkein-deniers?




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