How is the water today?…

What’s up by Letizia Piangerelli for COCOONERS N° 12

April 26, 2024
2 min read
A graphic cover with the portrait of Letizia Piangerelli

This article was first published in Cocooners N° 12

How is the water today?

One fish is said to have gently asked some others that were swimming along in the ocean. They smiled and nodded, but then, looking at each other, exclaimed — what the hell is water?

It’s true that the most evident realities are often the hardest to see. Even when they represent the vital elements that make all the other practicalities possible. I tend to forget, we all do. But if we pay attention, we can harvest the value of the obvious in the most fruitful ways.

For instance, there was this participant at a workshop a few weeks ago. It was the end of a session dedicated to exploring how to overcome criticalities on a strategic product. Commenting in amazement the results of the conversations, he realized that while the most advanced technological solutions were actually at hand, what they were struggling with were the very same dilemma that has haunted humanity since the beginning of time: how to be with each other in ways that allows for both successful outcomes and people wellbeing.

When we run an organization — be it a family, a company or an entire nation — we may think we cannot afford it. That time, energy, resources are scarce, and should be dedicated to something more concrete, providing evidence with numbers attached.

In fact, concreteness is not a property of the surface, but an outcome of undercurrents running into the deep. It literally means “to grow together”, a mass formed by coalescence of separate particles in one body, the process of solidification that makes it actual or real. It’s people with their stories, passions, fears, needs, aspirations, values, glued together by a shared goal, and by a culture that enables or hampers their possibility to achieve the impossible, to give life to something new.

This is water. And to keep perceiving it, is a practice that can make all the difference.

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