The unthought known's best-practices interventions

leading practitioners

This portion of TLO's Unthought Known Resource Center profiles practitioners who work in the Unthought Known arena doing innovative, intriguing work. We highlight practitioners who can offer you useful insights into the complex nature of the Unthought Known, practitioners who help people in specific professions or disciplines -- for example, leaders, learners, or change consultants -- enhance their understanding of the presence and power of the Unthought Known aspects of their minds. In particular, we profile practitioners who are developing new ways of working with the Unthought Known that encourage clients to respond to the difficult, disconfirming experiences in their lives in ways that expand both their awareness of and their access to the dynamic parts of their minds that day after day operate without words, looking for situations and circumstances where old, preverbal experience can be released and repaired.

Libby Wagner

Neither of us knows Libby Wagner. We've never met her. Never done a workshop with her or been coached by her. And yet, here she is, the first Unthought Known practitioner we're profiling. What prompted us to choose Ms Wagner, given that we've never met or worked with her? And why are we profiling her as one of our leading Unthought Known practitioners?

We found Libby by accident. One of us (Dave) was collecting transformational poems, getting ready for a coaching session with one of his TLO Though Partners. As usual, Dave was searching the internet looking for a specific poem, one that seemed right for his session. During this search, Dave saw one of Libby's poems, shared it, and this prompted both of us to visit Ms. Wagner's Boardroom Poet website. Not long afterwards, we both knew we needed to include Libby as the first Unthought Known practitioner profiled. Here's why:

          * Her "Success Salon," highlights the integrative power of music, poetry, and conversation for transformational experiences.

          * Her "Poetry of Persuasion" video powerfully demonstrates her ability to integrate poetry and conversation in catalytic ways. 

          * Her thought piece, "Do You Need To Talk Poetry To Your People," pinpoints the importance of things poetic for meaningful leadership.

          * Her website, the "Boardroom Poet," resonates with our sense that poetic experiences are relevant for organizational transformations.

          * Her poem, Diving In, is, for us, one of few poems we know that evocatively captures the lived sense of a real-life disorienting dilemma.

Intrapersonal and inter-personal transformations are hard to describe, let alone launch, navigate and sustain. Whether you're talking about improving your handwriting, strengthening your leadership skills, or modulating the power of your dysfunctional stereotypes, it's clear that noticeably altering any well-established habit, belief system, or stereotype demands that we personally experience some combination of words, feelings, and actions powerful and poignant enough to prompt a significant rewiring of the neurobiological networks embedded in our brains and bodies. This for us is the "truism" that's at the very heart of working in the Unthought Known's Developmental Orders of Consciousness arena. To create brain/mind responses that spark new synaptic connections and neurobiological networks, some sort of potent but manageable psychic/aesthetic jolt is needed. Our experience with this kind of intrapsychic "magic," and our exposure to and experience with the five "Here's why" items listed just above -- especially Ms. Wagner's poem Diving In -- are what told us Libby knows at least a little something about giving voice to the "aha!" experiences that turns people's disorienting dilemmas into neurobiologically-based transformations. To get a small sense of this, listen to this fragment of Libby's poem, Diving In, and you'll know why we believe she knows how to give voice to the heartrending depths of someone's disorienting dilemma.

....the deep, dark water
holds secrets unknown:
dangerous boulders
or felled logs.

You cannot predict this.

Or the terrible chance
that you will instead skim
the surface of your life,
or worse, dangle your feet
from the safe seat of the dock. 

Most importantly, Libby Wagner is one of the few organizational consultants we've run across who uses poetry as a fulcrum for her work. This is enough for us to trust that we should make her a leading practitioner that we profile on this page of TLO's Resource Center.