Language is about the words we use to think with. Language can shed light on things or push us into new territory. Sometimes language can be action. Before Harry Potter dared to utter his name Voldemort drew power from the unspoken - “he who must not be named.” Naming things changes things.
Pattern Language - the title of our blog - presents a new vocabulary for identifying certain regularities of behavior. For us the most important patterns are those that either reproduce the status quo or enable something new and different to take place. Pattern Language is the vernacular of stasis and change.
In this blog you will hear about behavior you've always noticed but never had words to express. We talk about things like The Network of No, Zombie Routines, The Hunt, Whalefall, or The Grip. Each Pattern comes with a story, a term, and an application - along with whatever else we think might be fun or useful. Together these patterns make up the larger system of Human Centered Transformation.
The term ‘Pattern Language’ was originally coined by the architect Christopher Alexander to explain design. One could identify and label patterns of space in order to understand what makes for beautifully built things, whether it was a well placed home, the perfect entry way, a quite courtyard, or a sleepy porch for rocking chairs. The best patterns led to what Alexander called ‘quality without a name’ or QWAN. We too aim for QWAN. Pattern Language is an attempt to express the deeper wisdom of what brings aliveness or deadness to organizations.