The Crucible of Rigorous Grilling

The Crucible of Rigorous Grilling

Ideas for regenerating business.

Rigmour aka Siri Embla, Whakaora Business Group

‘The Crucible of Rigorous Grilling’, as I understand it, is a meeting designed to help a business team examine their ideas on change in order to see what these ideas are teaching them. Done on regular basis this type of meeting could become an engine room for business innovation and I can see it becoming core to a business’s evolution.

Getting started with the 'Crucible of Grilling'

As the designated re-source for Whakaora on their regenerative business development journey, part of my role is stewarding the Whakaora Business Group (WBG) to setting up this type of meeting. In the setup, each team member is invited to choose an area in Whakaora they want to work on from a living systems perspective and come up with an idea on change that they would like to implement. The idea needs to be sourced from essence, so that it lights them up as well as lighting the business up. I share my idea below.

Once you have your idea on change and start applying it in your work you will meet external challenges and internal resistances. So when we come back into the 'Crucible' meetings space we examine what our idea on change is teaching and in dialogue with the team come up with a new iteration of the idea

My idea

I chose the area of online event design and delivery (which includes meetings and workshops). An area I would like to get much better at and if I did I would be super pleased. So my idea is to make online events fun and engaging. The idea needs some work but I think it is fine as a place to start.

To give you a glimpse of my process that allowed the idea to emerge, I cleared my mind and imaged the nestedness of an online event that Whakaora might deliver. In my minds eye, I can see relationships and possible effects, everything is alive and flowing as I look through the laptop screen, I can see the event team working hard. I can see the conversations during the event between participants and key words rippling out to the people and systems the participants interact with. As I hold all of this in my mind, swirling, coming in and out of focus, I drop in a pebble of thought 'idea on change' and the word that comes back is 'fun'. This word forms into a question 'how do I make our online events, my online events more fun? and therefore more engaging?

So I am now very curious to know, that if I approach the design of an event in this way, what will change in my delivery and my content. What do I need to learn? Of course, I immediately googled 'online event design and delivery' and the embarrassment began. I discovered, in short course, there is heaps for me to learn. I thought what I did was good. It is not bad but with some effort it can become so much better. (If you are interested, below is a very good video called Reinventing webinars_ tips & tricks for online meeting design and delivery, that I would recommend watching on 1.5x speed.)

As a final reflection, we have nine WBG members, that is nine ideas on change we will be working on for Whakaora. Each idea on change will become a path for development for that team member. I think this is why it is important for everyone to have an idea, it doesn't mean we cannot work on ideas together. The received wisdom is ‘that you need to work on something real to develop’.

For me this is exciting as it gives me hope that business can become a vehicle for beneficial economic, societal and ecological change.

If you want to learn more about Regenerative Business Development, a place to start is Carol Sanfords book called the Regenerative Business.

If you are interested in her programmes, which you can read about here, please contact me directly.



Thames Coast, New Zealand
Akasadaka practices regeneration, facilitation and buddhism. He has been doing some of these things for quite a long time.