In the part unconnected with Innovation People and the SPICE Framework, I write. My writing began as a form of catharsis; as a break from work, a relief, something different. This writing ended up with the emergence of a work of fiction, entitled The Journal of Bran Ayton.
The Journal of Bran Ayton is in the form of a personal journal and written in the first person. In a way, it is something of a homage to Daniel Defoe and his work of fiction, Robinson Crusoe. When that book was published, many of Defoe’s readers thought it was an actual account of his personal experiences. It wasn’t, but it has all the feeling that it an account of real experiences, as the reader follows the fictional character Robinson Crusoe’s adventures. That story sees Robinson Crusoe set sail on his adventures from Hull.
My own book, The Journal of Bran Ayton is set in a similar environment, along the north bank of a great river estuary and references two medieval towns. One is a port on that north bank, the other a grander city further inland. In the book, the central character reflects on his life, how it has unfolded up to that point and the way it is unfolding into the future.
There’s a word that crops up in the narrative. Unless you are into music in a fairly major way and in particular opera or classical music, you’re maybe not familiar with the word (I’m not into either!), which is ‘intermezzo’. Bran Ayton the central character, encounters this word on the lips of a couple of characters he encounters as the story unfolds in the book. As he describes himself, Bran is a ‘bit of an arse’, and obsesses about detail, so he reflects long and hard in his reflections with his journal.
Hopefully, I’m not too like Bran in that I hope I’m not a ‘bit of an arse’ in my own reflections. That’s for others to decide, I guess. But for me at least, that word, intermezzo feels important in thinking about change and development in people and in organisations.
The word itself, intermezzo when used in music refers to a phrase or little piece of music that forms a connection between other larger sections. Intermezzo might be described as filling gaps and building connections.
The way Bran Ayton encounters the word, is in this comment from another character who describes, intermezzo as ‘meaning in the gaps,’. This character, is someone whod influence Bran’s young life, had tried to explain to him that to understand what is really going on in life, you have to learn from what happens ‘in the gaps’, in the bridges between, relationships and the breaks that fracture them. They go on to say, that the connections between people are where the real heart of meaning is.
The inference I take from this (and remember I wrote this stuff!) is that understanding how connections form or are broken is fundamental to the connection between individuals in their social setting, whether in families, communities, or organisations.
Elsewhere and in the world of my own work, researching and developing the SPICE Framework, we considered two elements that regulate, or control organisations: the individuals who populate them and the contexts in which they operate (whether it be a business, community group or any other social setting). The connection – the intermezzo – between the individual and the context in which they operate are what we describe as the 3B’s.
By the 3B’s we mean, the beliefs and commitments within that context in regard to:
Many in Human Resource Management, leadership and Learning and Development are familiar with the idea of identifying behaviours that an organisation might seek to promote. Let’s take this as read. We can presume healthy organisations will be clear about behaviours they want to see evidenced in their people. Of the other two, belonging and becoming, I wonder what readers will make of them?
Regarding belonging, the healthiest organisations and communities will want to promote inclusion in its broadest sense. They will want people to feel safe, valued, affirmed, and listened to, etc. And regarding becoming? Well, this is about the individual being able to flourish, grow and develop within their organisation, community or whatever.
It just so happens that as someone who has worked in and around people and organisational development my whole career, I know that these 3B’s of Belonging, Becoming and Behaving are seen most clearly in the intermezzo, in the gaps that connect people.
In our increasingly distributed lives, as we live and work further away from our colleagues and social networks, it become more pressing that organisational leaders, supported by Human Resources and Learning and Development specialists, understand and build on meaning in the gaps. I think this can be done by very purposefully and deliberately considering the 3B’s in their organisation as new practises continue to unfold.
My own business, Innovation People has specialised in helping businesses to understand such meaning in the gaps, in order to enable growth and development. We’d love to support you and your business as you seek to grow and to develop.
Contact us at:
0113 733 2589
Written by System Administrator
September 26, 2023