Saturday, 7 August 2010

Engaging dancing

The Axelrods' talk was the more important session for me here, and has been enlightening on how engagement allows sense making. As an added bonus, I met other phd students researching engagement. I hope to keep in touch with them and continue to compare notes.

There is so much going on it is easy to miss something good (like the session on materiality) or end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Today I was going to a session on visualisation, but it was full to overflowing. I heard someone say something about an alternative room and followed them to find ourselves in a huge ball room, where I discovered I'd joined another session, one on dancing the tango. The tango is a metaphor for leadership because it requires subtle understanding of the changes of moves, and quick reactions and Montreal is the northern hemisphere's centre for tango. If you live in Montreal, then go here.

The organisers aimed to demonstrate that social dance can be used to develop organizational leadership skills. It does “take two to tango”: a leader and a follower.
"The dance is a metaphor for work performance and a “successful” dance or partnering is like the achievement of organizational objectives by a manager with an engaged workforce. Social dance provides a powerful and “sticky” medium to bring these principles to life."
The organisers wrote that the Argentine Tango "embodies skills necessary to lead organizations. Above all, it requires the ability to dynamically adapt to rapidly changing environments. Both today’s business leaders and tangueros (tango dancers) must be able to “think on their feet” and respond effectively to the unexpected actions of others, including those with whom they interact most closely. Skilled organizational leaders, like dancers, more easily navigate the complexities of their business environment by establishing deep and fluid communication with their followers."

I began to feel as I moved with my partner that I understood what they meant - if I lived in Montreal I might join a tango class.
El tango no está en los pies. Está en el corazón. [Tango is not in the feet. It is in the heart.] Larry Caroll, Tango Corazon
It's a daring approach.

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