After 16 months of running Critical Business School every Friday, I decided to take a break and pause it in its current format.
It took me much longer to act on similar rumination when closing Thirdness, so I decided to lean into intuition rather than experiment with the format.
I wanted to share some learnings about the space and my practice.
When we introduce ourselves, we don’t only say who we are, but who we are not. One of CBS’ goals was to articulate personal creative surplus. Acknowledging the inertia of how we show up is a big part of that reflection process.
Introductions are now a repeating theme in my coaching work and spaces. May it be a Slack group, a new job, or a networking event. The impromptu, off-the-cuff affordances we put on our creativity are the lowest hanging fruit to show up in new ways.
Part of the shift from funnels to orbits means moving from a media property/domain mentality to framing spaces as mediators for communication.
A cluster of contexts allows us to meet when a set of living ideas is in sync with a format, a group of people, and articulated value.
In CBS’ case, I have been thinking intently about the format (no introductions, etc.), articulating creative surplus, writing prompts/living ideas, and developing my coaching practice.
As my coaching practice grew and I facilitated a prompt writing workshop, my focus shifted to helping other people contextualize prompts in their domains (prompting themselves). Interest in CBS started to frail.
To that point: In running my practice listening to my interest and energy level is the best indicator I have of how successful an initiative would be. I have to negotiate that with reality (commitment), of course.
People in orbit and the ideas change irrespective of CBS, its format, or price. It is simply the complexity of building containers, sustaining them with energy while negotiating with life.
It was beautiful to hear how energizing CBS was, especially when it was not effortless. We did not talk about things we agreed on, and I actively moved away from small talk when that came up. In one conversation on collaborations, I realized that my job was to work very hard to avoid any ‘collaboration’ in the space. I mean collaboration in its most transactional way, where people meet (on Zoom or Slack), render themselves to whatever the space needs, ask for the same from others, say the obvious things, and diverge the smallest amount possible from the median culture of the space. Because of no introductions and no agenda-no output, the space has no ‘culture’ (/gravity), which is both fun and is a meta-skill: meeting people in what I call high-context confusion.
As CBS is not an effortless endeavor and looks deceiving, there were times when a participant was resistant to the energy in the space. It was then up to me to convert that resistance into discernment.
Using the same metaphor of multiple gravities with less gravity resistance makes less sense. We can’t push a wall in space, but we can look behind, above, or below it and, through that new form of thinking, drive value from the intuition that leads us to that moment of resistance.
Prompts remain the technology I use to help people find their practice together. There is much more to prompts, how they differ from briefs, and how they oscillate in their energy. I am happy to expand if you’re interested. Please get in touch. I ran a ten-session workshop on prompt writing in Q1, and it is clearer now that prompts and living ideas go hand in hand. Q2’s workshop is on living ideas, which I define as ideas that we develop more writing, or thinking about, while they grow in meaning for the writer.
I am writing a new type of a ‘book’ as a collection of weekly writings and a monthly chapter, sent to a paid group. I will not publish it beyond that private format.
There was a prompt writing workshop earlier this year, and there is a Living Ideas one coming up later in May.
You can read earlier pieces on CBS, the topics and the format below: