ameland stick

 

It is more than ten years since I wrote "Networks as Living Tissue" and now it is time for a new book.  In January 2012 I spent two weeks in isolation on the isle of Ameland, to work on the text.

 

Actually, this was the second attempt. Two years ago I did the same, and a good number of friends and colleagues commented on my first draft. They made me see that I was actually writing several books at once, so I needed to focus better. But there was also a lot of encouragement. They assured me that there is a need for a book like this, that provides language and concepts for things you actually already know, but which are hard to discuss in the current management culture.

 

The book will be practical as well as philosophical. The practical part will be about recognising patterns in everyday life, and particularly in network processes. Readers already familiar with the Circle of Coherence and the Triangle of Change will discover quite a few improvements on the earlier versions. The focus is on action.

 

If you want to reach for your ideals, where do you start?  Where do you find allies? What generates energy for a process of change? What problems can you expect along the way, and how can you deal with them?

 

This is not just a soft approach to networks. Dealing with power is also a part of it. There are urgent questions to be answered...

 

What justifies your action? How do you know you’re doing the right thing, and not just making matters worse? This is dealt with in the philosophical part.

 

Under the surface of our society there are different lines of thought, and each gives different answers. I call them ‘deep stories’ because they influence our lives even as we are barely aware of it. The ecological perspective on human networks not only enables us to appreciate the contributions of each of these stories, but also to identify their shortcomings and pitfalls.

 

So long as people disagree on the rules of the game, it is difficult to play together.

 

Now it is time for a unifying story, ideally told with scientific rigour, that can serve as a basis for concerted action. I hope that this book will at least provide some useful building blocks.