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Dance, Sing, and Shout for Joy Like an Egyptian!
Posted on February 13, 2011 | Veronica Adams
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Tahir Square

It seems to me that, along with demonstrating a humbling range of strengths and courage, the Egyptians just showed the world what can happen when people use divergent thinking to focus on open-ended possibilities — versus limited, convergent "That's just the way things are" thinking. 

Collective creative problem solving and innovation are inherently egalitarian, if they have any chance of succeeding.  It may have not been their intentions to start with, but the "stand-out" leaders in the IBM study found themselves flattening their organizations, backing away from "command and control" management styles, removing unnecessary layers of communications that had been barriers, and streamlining processes in order to be responsive to rapidly changing conditions and opportunities.  

The Egyptians at Tahrir Square would know something about being prepared and responsive to rapidly changing conditions.  I don't know the extent to which it remained the case afterwards, but according to the NBC Nightly News report on February 1stmuch of the organizing for the demonstrations was coordinated by a small office of ten volunteers led by a soft-spoken single mother in her 30's (Girl power! 🙂 ).  Volunteer coordinators using collaborative brainstorming and creative problem solving; mobilizing armies of volunteers serving on teams as medical personnel, security people, food and tea vendors, sanitation people, and leaders reinforcing the practices of restraint and non-violence among the thousands; and cell phones — It can't get much flatter than that!  

Here was the combination of collective wisdom, need for self-expression, and human integrity at their very best.  

 

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