@Davos 2005
My Experience
My first two Davos experiences [link], particularly 2002, were short on doing work and long on enjoying the other events at the Forum. This one was just the opposite. I did not have the time to attend one activity outside of the WorkSpace [link].
This means my sense of the 2005 Annual Meeting came from those who walked inside the WorkSpace door and how they acted, the workshop activities themselves, and what people reported to us in regards their experience outside of the room we were in. I did walk the halls a few times to meet old friends and this gave me some insight into how things were going in general. I think, from all this, that this Davos was one of the best. I did not intend that my time would be totally consumed but circumstances made it so. Perhaps, if there is a next time, a balance will be struck.
My experience, this year, was colored predominately by the three months that lead up to the event and by the factors that effected our ability to do our work during the event. There is no question that these months, and the Davos week, had some great moments. In total, however, these three months were exhausting and full of unreasonable demands and frustrations - they were a hard lesson about the task ahead and a bitter reminder that our work is still outside the organizational norm that today is predominately the expression of raw power mixed with fear. There is no question that accomplishing real strategy implementation and deep organizational transformation [link] is back on the agenda of businesses and governments - however, the time, attention and patience necessary for significant change is wanting like never before. In the entire history of MG Taylor, I have never experienced such difficulty related to the simple task of just working with organizations and maintaining a decent relationship. It is not that individuals are not trying to make things work. In fact their efforts boarder on the heroic. They are - the most of them - in a structure where shit runs down hill. There is no better way to say it and structure wins.
I arrived at Davos physically and emotionally spent and therefore did not react well to a number of things that normally I would have dealt with a great deal more grace. Despite the demanding schedule and long work hours, I did come out of the week in better shape than I entered and this is demonstration that the week was, on the whole, a positive experience and that we did accomplish much that we set out to do.
Two of my three workshops went well. One did not - a case of a co-facilitator who had an entirely different sense of the outcome than I with neither of us the time to work it out in advance of the session. The session “worked” it out - and not all that badly - but I felt it to be a serious compromise of the process. Foresight On Tough Issues produced some interesting results [link] and the Responsible Investment session was a pleasure to facilitate [link].
Gail and the KnowledgeWorkers did a great job in facilitating the many session leaders that came into the environment to lead - many their first time in such a place and such a process. Most of the sessions were a step up in process, engagement and collaboration and were enjoyed by all. I acted as “guide” in one and found it an engaging experience. I also participated a bit in this one [link]. One other, which was a dialog, I attended - my only real Davos experience this year as a regular member.
Was this worth the risks we took [link]? The answer to that may be a year or two down the road.

Matt Taylor
February 2, 2005


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Posted: February 2, 2005

Revised: February 5, 2005
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Copyright© Matt Taylor 2005



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