The 6 Coversations


Accountability is the willingness to acknowledge that we have participated in creating, through commission or omission, the conditions that we wish to see changed. Without this capacity to see ourselves as cause, our efforts become either coercive or wishfully dependent on the transformation of others.

Community will be created the moment we decide to act as creators of what it can become. This requires us to believe in the possibility that this organization, neighborhood, community, is mine or ours to create. This will occur when we are willing to answer the question “how have I contributed to creating the current reality?” Confusion, blame and waiting for someone else to change are a defense against ownership and personal power.

The idea that I am cause can be a difficult question to take on immediately, so lower risk questions precede this. The best opening questions are questions about the ownership people feel for this particular gathering. To what extent they act as owners of this meeting is symptomatic of how they will act as owners of the larger question on the table. The extent of our ownership for larger questions is more difficult and therefore requires a level of relatedness before it can be held in the right context.

A subtle denial of ownership is innocence and indifference. The future is denied with the response, “it doesn't matter to me–whatever you want to do is fine.” This is always a lie and just a polite way of avoiding a difficult conversation around ownership.

People best own that which they create, so that co-creation is the bedrock of accountability. It is the belief that I am cause, not effect. This is the question that really confronts people with their freedom.


Invitation replaces mandate, policy and alignment


Possibility replaces problem solving


Ownership and Cause replace explanation, blame and denial


Dissent and Refusal replace resignation and lip service


Commitment replaces hedge and barter


Gifts replace deficiencies