The Way of Nowhere: Eight Questions to Release Our Creative Potential

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9780007263578: The Way of Nowhere: Eight Questions to Release Our Creative Potential

The Way of Nowhere is a business book by the UK's hottest change management consultancy who have led transformations in some of Britain's biggest and best known organisations. An invaluable resource for anyone who wants to make a creative difference in their lives and the lives of people around them.

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Review:

The Way of Nowhere is a successful experiment and bold invitation to a rich new way of thinking and acting ... It is also a guide to the absolutely essential reshaping of our institutions that the times demand. The new standard for combining inspirational new thinking with real world guidance on how to achieve genuine organisational change has been set.
William Isaacs, author Dialogue and The Art of Thinking Together, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School.

The Way of Nowhere is a fast-track to dramatic and subtle breakthroughs in both the personal and professional realms.
Jamie Catto, creative-catalyst and one half of the Grammy nominated concept band 1 Giant Leap.

What can I say about The Way of Nowhere? It's a mystery play, dark and barely penetrable. Just as Nowhere work their magic now and here, The Way of Nowhere touches you everywhere ... It tests you, pushes you, deconstructs and reconstructs you. But its magic depends on you.
Martin Wyn Griffith, Director of Service Transformation, Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, UK Government.

Nowhere consistently challenge every step of our individual and collective path in a way that develops your deeper self, collective awareness and focus.
Jamie Anley, MD, Jam Design & Communication.

The rarest form of leadership is one which releases all of the creativity and energy of the team. Where there is a real unifying purpose, where there is honesty, openness and trust and emotions are recognised and channelled, not suppressed ... Working with Nowhere has transformed my leadership.
David Lawrence, Head of R&D, Syngenta AG.

Nowhere is unique. Unique in its combination of insights at the point where business and the behavioural sciences intersect. Unique in the way it approaches a client - not as a doctor with a patient, but as a coach with an athlete. Unique in its blend of mysterious and practical, humorous and serious.
Martin Taylor, Chairman, Syngenta AG.

From the Author:

Why this book? Why now?
By Nick Udall and Nic Turner
The Way of nowhere has been our way of taking stock, of stepping back and reflecting on what we do and why we do it. It has forced us to slow down in a world that is getting faster and faster. And, it has helped us to capture and share our learning above and beyond our day-to-day work with leaders of large businesses and of regional and local communities.
There is no doubt that the act of writing this book has been a luxury and yet we don't quite know how we found the time to write it. It just seemed to happen. With hindsight we are only just beginning to see why we have written the book and why this was the right time to reveal some of what we do. This has been counter-cultural as we have relished our ability to stay hidden for many years with all of the benefits that come from being invisible.
But the time feels right to offer a new and emerging practice, a new Way of facing into some of the critical personal and organisational dilemmas of modern society. These for example include:
Working in the week and living for the weekends
We spend 60-70 per cent of our lives at work or preparing for work. It would be heartbreaking to look back from our deathbeds and feel that the majority of our time had been spent working on things that hadn't nourished us or enabled us to grow and realise our highest potential. So how can we make our life's work more creative and meaningful...?


Compartmentalising organisational life
Our personal worldviews, the way we organise our lives, our companies, our cultural systems, are hugely influenced, if not dominated, by Newtonian images of the world where things are broken down into separate parts and managed accordingly. This is in contrast to the quantum view that sees the universe as a creative interconnected web. What if we could learn to see and work more systemically and thereby creatively shift the underlying patterns and assumptions that have been holding us back...?
Solving problems at the same level of thinking that created them
A classic belief is that by simply focusing our intellect on a given problem we will find an elegant way through. This assumption is a convenient argument when we want to stay within our comfort zones and hide our vulnerabilities. But what if we could find compelling ways of tapping into, appreciating and valuing our wholeness: the intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual capital of organisational life...?
Arguing for our limitations
Our beliefs about who we are and what we can do are tied into our early experiences of childhood and family. Some of them are self-limiting - `I can't sing', `I am not creative' - and they tend to persist. What would happen if we could break free from our self-limiting beliefs...?
Not accessing our highest potential
We access our highest potential when we use our creativity, our emotions, our intuition, our intellect and our physical capacity. Few of us use these innate capabilities to the full. No matter what the challenge, we tend to use the same ways of thinking and behaving to meet it. Most of us are one- or two-club golfers or one- or two-stroke swimmers. What could we achieve if we could access all of our capabilities...?
These are all examples of how we are often trapped by our own self-limiting patterns of thought, behaviour and action, whether we are a leader or leadership team in an organization, a teacher in a classroom, a parent at home, or in fact any one of us walking through the creative adventure of life. This is compounded further when we layer into the equation how cultures and governance systems are also often expert at diminishing our creative and collective potential rather than skilful in releasing and expanding it.
If we are to face into some of our most pressing issues at home, school, business and even on national and global scales, we need to learn how to break free of these self-limiting patterns (personally, interpersonally and culturally), so we can break through into more creative, sustainable and meaningful futures.
The dilemma is that we cannot think our way out of these patterns and yet we are conditioned to think that we can. Unless we can learn to unlock our whole selves, not just our intellects, we will stay lost in the complexity of life, and trapped doing what we have always done.
What we need are new practices, new ways of unlocking our wholeness, new ways of releasing our creative and collective potential. And, as with any new practice, this will require practise, skill and determination.
The Way of nowhere is our contribution to this challenge. It is a book of practice that maps out ways of helping individuals and organisations play a more creative role in society and simultaneously nurture their growth. It contains a collection of questions designed to help us all move into the unknown and transcend our limitations. It enables us to access our natural capabilities and release our unique gifts. And ultimately it reveals a systemic design that helps us to live in greater harmony with each other and with the planet.
It is about how each and every one of us can find our place - a place where we can connect with our own creative life force and weave it together with that of the people around us.

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