FullThought is 4 years old now. I still love what I am doing and it still feels very much like pushing a heavy rock up a steep hill. In almost daily conversations I find myself addressing: Why FullThought? Why now?
One answer is that we don’t need to look far to see examples of partial thought in our current world.
Example One: our financial crisis is the result of partial thought.Gillian Tett of The Financial Times writes in her book Fools Gold, that our “entire financial system went wrong as a result of flawed incentives within banks and investment funds, as well as the rating agencies; warped regulatory structures; and a lack of oversight.” It turns out that the current global financial crisis is a story about people we thought were the smartest players in the industry. Their decisions turned out to be “remarkably naïve, reckless or, in some cases, downright stupid”, I quote Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times who reviewed Ms Tett’s book.
The examples continue: we feed a billion dollar industry to incarcerate a larger segment of our population than any industrialized nation with little or no public debate about the impact of incarceration on humans, or the wellness and the return of these individuals to our community.
We continue to destroy the land, water and air we depend on for survival.
We continue to be a culture that sees “troop surges” and the war machine as our answer to building global stability.
FullThought provides simple practices to bring people, ideas and understanding together. We teach we must first explore clearly “What are we trying to get done?” We name out loud the thoughtful questions that confound us or inspire us. We encourage the widening of 'who' is at the table in decision making. Then, perhaps most important, we teach a process that positions listening over speaking, and one that draws on all voices and perspectives at the table.
I have witnessed countless times that these practices or protocols encourage deeper thought, relevant contribution and lead to better decisions faster.
FullThought is hoping to contribute to the quiet revolution that is going on around us. It is through simple practices of listening that we can begin to reshape the culture of our major decisions in this country. I believe we must first begin in all the small conversations we find ourselves in daily: with our family, our children, our neighbors, our co-workers, and our business associates.
The tools I use seem so ridiculously easy sometimes I struggle to find words for my great faith in where they will lead us.
I welcome 2012 and encountering new people pushing old, heavy rocks up steep hills. Then I will remind myself I am in good company and see what I can learn from your journey. I will also look for ways big or small that FullThought can be helpful.