The Art of Harvesting

A wise companion

The Art of Harvesting is the wise companion to the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations.

If we imagine our meaningful conversations as the planting of seeds, then harvesting is the collecting of the fruits that we have grown through those conversations and sharing those fruits with others. Harvesting helps us bring closure to the processes we host and also invites our next level of understanding.
More importantly, it helps us to collectively see the same picture and share the same under-standing together.
We are smarter together, and harvesting the wisdom of what we explore and discover when in dialogue is a way to ensure that our collective intelligence results in good decisions and wise action.

Two sides of one thing

The art of hosting meaningful conversations – and the art of harvesting meaningful conversations are two sides of the same effort – namely to “amplify” our brains and our hearts, or to engage our collective intelligence and wisdom to find the emergent and sustainable solutions to complex challenges.

There is a popular quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes…

“I would not give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

We sometimes wonder if the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful conversations is not a gateway to the simplicity on the other side of complexity – even if the road to the other side goes through chaos - journeying past our fear and confusion to find the next level of clarity and useful pattern for movement.....

“Chaos is creativity in search of form.” 

How can the harvest support collective meaning making so that we become smarter and more effective together?

The Art of Harvesting paper 3.1 by Monica Nissé and others - please download here

Colletice story harvest - a description of the method and examples.

Collectice story harvest - the process.


Two different qualities

Even if we are talking in the art of hosting and harvesting meaningful conversations about one thing, the nature of these two “activities” may differ.

If the work of the facilitator or host is to engage everyone to speak “their truth”, listen openly, trying to understand differing views and to bring their best to the table and work at hand; the“harvesters´” focus is on capturing the wisdom, remembering, seeing patterns and making meaning – and then making this meaning ‘visible’ and available.

It is as if the hosting is animating the discovery and learning process –whereas harvesting is trying to embed the insights and learning - to make them as relevant and useful in our own context as possible.

Monica offering her perspective on the art of harvesting for leaders in health care in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Videos 2007 here  

The Art of Harvesting 2.6        

Art of Harvesting teach, AoH Belgium March 2008