You’ll enjoy a number of threads in this conversation about how we can co-create human wholeness. Author and co-creator, Cees Hoogendijk wrote a book on Appreciative Inquiry that seeks to have people live into this mission as they read it.
You’ll enjoy a number of threads in this conversation with my Dutch Appreciative Inquiry (AI) colleague, Cees Hoogendijk. Cees (pronounced “case”) launched his third book – his first in English – Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind, How to Connect, Share and Co-create for Tomorrow’s Human Wholeness. (All links below.) His intention for writing the book, his process in writing the book, his choice to distribute the book is all hugely exciting. It’s a model of the 3.0 world of tomorrow’s human wholeness.
As you listen to our conversation, you’ll feel invited into this new relational world we seek to co-create.
It was touching for me to hear Cees’ response to my introduction to him. I did the usual very brief overview just to give the listeners a sense of my guest's background. In the introduction, I mention his new book that I want to learn more about and his professional background. I make the comments that I view him as an integrated professional because his first degrees are in mathematics & physics and somewhere along the way he transitioned into HR Management, Learning Architecture, and Organizational Change & Development.
Furthermore, I mention that he is happily married to Karin, has 6 children, and 4 cats – down from 8 cats at one time) and he writes prolifically, and works as an independent “co-maker” and is able to live such a full life.
Finally, I mention his mission which is the Humanization of the Organization, and I invite him to lead off with that.
This is what touches me: Before even responding to my question, Cees reflects back to me that the way I introduced him reminds him of the experience we offer in Appreciative Inquiry. Interview partners listen carefully to each other’s stories, and then summarize parts of their partner’s story by sharing it with others. It is an affirming experience when someone else summarizes your story, or your perspective.
Cees reminded me of the honor and responsibility I have in co-creating a positive relational experience with my guests every time I introduce them to my audience.
Intuition is our Guide
I want to point out that Cees is yet another esteemed colleague who reflects that the work he is doing, the frameworks, the philosophies, the practices that are integral to who he is, and who he is still becoming were known to him intuitively before he had language or the theoretical, academic disciplines to back up his intuition. Very early, he was already living and working in ways that years later he found to be what sought to bring to life. His mission – Humanization of Organization – is what he sought to do before he even had words for it.
Humanization of Organization – Emergence and Wholeness
Listen in to appreciate Cees’ passion for his mission. His curiosity around the concept of “organization” and seeking to understand the various constructs of organization is the subject of a Ph.D. he is interested in completing.
In the simplest language, it’s about organizing for optimal human flourishing; we do our work; we get together with colleagues to produce results for our various jobs; and we have a nice day while doing it.
Underpinning that uncomplicated view of humanized organization is a relational field of narratives and life experiences that inform and influence what shows up and is lived out. Cees offers some beautiful metaphors from nature and personal life to suggest what is possible when we pay attention to the forces that connect us – not so much on the surface – but at our core as growing human beings seeking wholeness. And, he adds, it’s not the same for everyone!
Co -create: Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind
It was such a treat to speak with Cees about his book. It’s a work of authenticity and congruence. Cees shares a very lovely story that Dutch philosopher, Jan Flemeling, whom he admires greatly, after reading his book, said he found total congruence with Cees and the message in his book!
In writing this book, Cees had an intention that, as the readers began to experience the content with all the examples of Appreciative Inquiry, they would feel invited to try it out for themselves so that at the end they could say “I did it myself.” There are beautiful practices and suggestions at the end of each chapter that facilitate such an opportunity.
Do listen in for the inspirations and collaborations that Cees garnered to write, produce and distribute his book. Below you’ll find links to some of these inspirations and valued connections: business entrepreneurs, scholars and colleagues in Appreciative Inquiry.
Personal Transformation – We Seek New Words
Our conversation goes broad and touches lightly on some deep topics. For example: We talk about what “being AI” is and how we can become far more sensitive in our choice of words, our daily habits and practices, and our relationships. We agree we don’t have the words that can truly express what’s going when we are doing this “inside” work.
I really liked how Cees said that as we get more practiced at something, the time between preparing to do it and actually doing it gets narrower and narrower – that you are in the moment.
We also talked about the meaning of “positivity” and how that is understood across cultures.
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How to Connect with Cees Hoogendijk
References Mentioned In This Episode
Jan Flameling: colleague, Dutch philosopher and social constructionist
Seats2Meet.com: working spaces that facilitate collaborations and social enterprises of society 3.0
Rhizome – metaphor of learning and emerging social enterprise
Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind – Overview of Cees’ latest book
Books Mentioned In This Episode
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