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Annemarie Atema: Without connection no life

Annemarie Atema 2021 02 Annemarie Atema

I hadn't gotten around to preparation. But that didn't matter, I told myself encouragingly. After all, going into something openly enhances the creative process. Or something like that. I did expect something. A webinar with about 40 people/women. By Jitske Kramer. Titled Connecting Leadership. It started with a small miscalculation. Not 40 but 800 men/women in the room. I was one of the many. Hmmm, no direct interaction so. 3.5 sends, looking at a screen. Pooh.


Until Jitske came up. Sometimes you come across them. Those people who present, or rather, tell a story, that you don't easily leave. Simply because the telling is done in a way that makes you want to linger. Jitske is such a person.

The story was about the changes in working. In terms of time (choose your own most productive hours instead of office hours), in terms of mobility (no more getting from A to B and vice versa every day), in terms of buildings (get rid of that expensive lease) and in terms of digital working (there are plenty of pros and cons for that).

Chiefs & magicians

Jitske is an anthropologist. From that background, she talked about strong tribes and how people within a tribe grab roles. Such as chiefs, hunters, gatherers and magicians. The explanation of those roles makes you immediately start sticking labels within your own organization. But I also asked myself the question of what role I fill. Perhaps my colleagues see me in a completely different role than the one I see myself in. I digress. Back to the storyline.

Within tribes/teams/departments, of course, you always have to deal with naysayers, the yes-but types. How do you get those along in times of uncertainty? We are, says Jitkse, in a collective culture shock. Are we moving toward the old normal or toward a new normal? 96% of the master class participants indicated that they felt we are in a transformation phase. A transformation aimed at a new normal with opportunities.

New rituals

New rituals

Source: human dimensions

Did I hear many new things? Not really. Still, I'm writing about this now. Because somehow it does stick more strongly. Because despite the crisis we are all in and despite the uncertainty about what is coming our way, we can apparently also look ahead positively and think in terms of possibilities. That was true for most of the 800 participants and certainly for me as well. And I like that.

The master class is titled "Connecting Leadership. Ahaaa, a master class for chiefs, the leaders of a team. Yes, it was a bit about that too. But for me, the master class is mostly about connection. Without connection with others, no life. And precisely that connection, in my opinion, makes that transformation to a new normal possible. We do that together. In which we have managed to unravel ingrained patterns and see that things can be done differently.