IN4tuity Goes Back Into the Retort

IN4tuity-31

Working in partnership with Kenneth Warren, squareONE formulates a brain trust focused on supporting leadership and visionary goals in public libraries. We support leadership and ambitious organizational goals by helping build sustainable capacity in organizations.

Our approach can be distilled: we use deeply intentional experiential inquiries to help leaders and staff and stakeholders interrogate the core propositional bindings and history of the institution. Then, we work to help the leadership reinvigorate and reanimate, or reconfigure, both the necessary bindings at the core, and build sustainable new initiatives. IN4tuity‘s unique capabilities are the result of joining together Kenneth’s long expertise in daily, practical and humanistic institutional leadership in the public library, with Stephen’s innovative skills in guiding transformative learning.IN4tuity‘s developmental tools are not like those found in normative organizational and leadership development. Their fundamental thrust is directed toward instantiating self-awareness via praxis. Nothing ever gets pulled off any shelf. Everything is purpose-built and fit to address mundane and audacious objectives.

Because of the passing on of my dear friend, colleague, partner in IN4tuity, Ken Warren, on May 21, 2015, IN4tuity will not in the future be working in the areas of public library leadership development or strategy. IN4tuity has been subsumed by squareONE:experiential toolmakers. squareONE: experiential toolmakers, when aimed to support the mission of public libraries, provides experience-based staff development and assistance for serendipity-based and strategic curation.

(July 27, 2015) I have pulled the plug on the stand-alone IN4tuity. Its web name and web site expire on August 8.

This post captures the language of the project, etched onto the web site. IN4tuity lasted from February 2013 until May 2015. Ken and I spent probably something like 500+ hours discussing libraries over the past six years and especially between December 2012-and August 2014. Ken hoped to renew humanistic librarianship in the digital age, and, I hoped to assist him, and, inspire library staff to transform themselves into learning advocates. Hmmm, I guess this joined two revolutions!

Transcendently bittersweet.

ABOUT
KENNETH WARREN

Kenneth Warren is an ethical and innovative library professional, public intellectual, communicator, editor, scholar, and writer. From his beginning as a children’s librarian at the Waco-McLennan County Public Library in Waco, Texas to his twenty five year directorship at Lakewood Public Library in Lakewood Ohio, his extensive experience can deliver deep and pragmatic insight into the challenges of practice and service that face public libraries and their directors.

With an archetypal way of listening to communities and libraries, Warren is a cultivator of administrative judgment and an exegete of humanity’s typological inheritance. First and foremost, he believes that the director is authorized to strive for a better and deeper articulation of the community’s regard for the library through a planning process that carefully honors structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. He is convinced that memories and stories about library experience are important ways of passing on knowledge and sustaining the legacy of the library as a public good.

In his view, planning is an order of remembrance and story-telling that seeks to incorporate the people’s experiences into how the director understands the world and acts upon it to bring forth functional and generative service. Whether the call has been to amputate, conserve, extend, innovate, preserve, or restore what underpins the library, he will stress doing so with as much intelligence and respect for the community’s aspiration to care and know as possible.

His distinctive accomplishments span building programming and construction, children’s service innovations, psycho-demographic applications to community-building and collection positioning, staff development, public library outreach strategies for local knowledge-creation, place-making initiatives, and social capital formation. His sources in administration theory include: Larry Terry – Leadership of Public Bureaucracies: The Administrator as Conservator; John Giannini – Compass of the Soul: Archetypal Guides to a Fuller Life; Ralph Hummel – The Bureaucratic Experience; Frank Hern – Moral Order and Social Disorder.

Warren is the founder and editor of House Organ, a letter of poetry and prose. With Fred Whitehead, he co-edited and introduced The Whole Song: Selected Poems: Vincent Ferrini published by University of Illinois Press. BlazeVox recently published his selective history of American poetry: Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980-2012.

STEPHEN CALHOUN
An auto-didact learned and skilled in the fields of adult learning and development, experiential learning, social cybernetics, analytical psychology, neurophenomenology, and organizational anthropology, Stephen Calhoun is also, for over forty years, a hungry library rat.

Stephen is an innovative designer of experiential tools aimed to fuel questioning, exploration and discovery. His unique and often playful experiential tools are focused on deepening: inquiry, organizational learning and self-awareness. Because his approach to assessment and development is interdisciplinary, Stephen is also a keen analyst of human systems and resources.

As principal of squareONE:experiential toolmakers, he has been engaged with the field of adult development since 1995. In 2013, he was named one of the four global learning partners of LearningFromExperience, a consortium founded by David A. and Alice Kolb. He is a member of the Experiential Learning Community of Practice. He has created tools for, and worked with, consultants in leadership and organizational development.

(As a philosopher of lifelong and experiential learning, and an enactivist facilitator, Stephen’s outlook is primarily informed by the precedents of Gregory Bateson, William James, Carl Gustav Jung, Thelonious Monk, David A. Kolb, Paolo Freire, Jack Mezirow, Karl Weick, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Kurt Lewin, Marian Woodman, and Franz Boas.)

Stephen’s scholarly research focus works to uncover and decipher the complexities of serendipity and pseudo-serendipity in adult development. He is, apparently, the only researcher who currently approaches this growing field from the perspective that conjoins cybernetics, phenomenology, and ethnography. There are, of course, important contentions about the power of serendipity in the space of the library.

I see the lifespace of the public library to be a complex, dynamic ecology of human interaction, noetic exchange, and heart-rending service and care.

A library provides helpful mediation for human aspiration. Libraries change lives forever. It is straightforward for me to understand that a library can be at its core the magnanimous humanitarian heart of a community. Its blood is interaction, learning and experience, is, in short Praxis.

TOGETHER

Ken and Stephen partner to provide consulting and development capacity that is radically differentiated from the norm simply by virtue of their collective intelligence, deep mutual experience, and the powerful synthesis contained in their joined interdisciplinary skillfulness.

They founded IN4tuity to actively take a stand in support of the public library as a site of heart and soul, of eros and logos, of learning and human development. Their argument on behalf of the humanitarian library opposes the neoliberal idea that libraries are mainly information and service dispensaries. Their mission and IN4tuity’s potential for transformative impact is anchored to this argument.

IN4tuity’s effectiveness obtains an ideal and powerful match with like-minded leadership.

This entry was posted in adult learning, Kenneth Warren, Libraries & Librarianship and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *