Play, Persuasion, and Field Building

Recently, I was searching the internet for this unusual thing called Field Building. And I found some gems. Included in that is a section I pasted below from the Digial Arts Studio, which I found useful in that list of concrete things sort of way.

But today I am wondering, great, all this sounds rather cold to me. I just finished reading a Whole New Mind earlier this month. And so I wonder where the six senses: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning get integrated with this clinical approach to field building. I mean, really, we want people jazzed about the field so that all this delightful connection happens and the gift economy thrives.

The other thing on my mind is where is the intersection with work on persuasion, see Cialdini’s work.

Dr Robert Cialdini states that there are six principles of persuasion:

1. Reciprocation
2. Commitment and consistency
3. Social proof
4. Liking
5. Authority
6. Scarcity

How do these play a role in influencing the emergence of a field? I am merely playing with the intersection of these disparate pieces, my friends. I have not come to conclusions. I would love to hear your thoughts, want to play with me?

Now for that clinical approach I mentioned:

What is a Field?
A field is an area of specialized practice encompassing specific activities carried out by trained practitioners in particular settings. Typically a field’s practitioners require preparation in research- and craft-based knowledge, share a common language (including jargon), and have access to ongoing opportunities for professional education. They also acknowledge standards for practice, use vehicles for communication and information exchange, and enjoy credibility in the eyes of critical constituencies. These common factors are often called the “elements” of a field. For new fields of practice, advocates often aim to build the field by pursuing strategies to improve these “field elements” and thus strengthen, scale up, and sustain standard practice.

Eleven essential elements of a field include:
# Identity. A field is based on a distinct and recognized practice that can be clearly described.
# Knowledge base. A field has credible evidence, derived from research and practice, of results, as well as of the best ways for practitioners to obtain these results.
# Workforce and leadership. A field has trained practitioners, researchers, and practitioner educators; the structures and institutions for training, credentialing, supporting, and retaining this workforce; incentives and organizations for leaders and leadership development; and ways of attracting a workforce reflecting those served through the practice.
# Standard practice. A field has descriptions of standard practice that meet an acceptable level of quality. A common language is used to describe practice. Interventions meriting best-practice status demonstrate a capacity to achieve desired outcomes in culturally and developmentally responsive ways.
# Practice settings. A field needs places that are appropriate and equipped for practice.
# Information exchange. A field has vehicles for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information and knowledge, such as newsletters, conferences, journals, websites, and graduate curricula.
# Infrastructure for collaboration. A field has structures and institutions that facilitate collaboration among its members and critical allies, including professional organizations, special convenings, networks, and conferences.
# Resources. A field has adequate financial and other resources to ensure standard practice.
# Critical mass of support. A field has the support of key constituencies––organizations and individuals critical to sustaining it––including practitioners, researchers, administrators, policymakers, clients or customers, influential leaders, and so on.
# Advocates and systemic support. A field has adherents who work to foster the support of critical constituencies, garnering good will, securing various forms of support, and ensuring an appropriate policy context at all levels of government and within pertinent institutions.
# Systemic support. A field also has systemic support, including appropriate public policy and incentives that encourage practitioners to learn and use standard practice.

3 thoughts on “Play, Persuasion, and Field Building

  • Let’s consider these different approaches as planes in the development of the field. While the activities involved in field building comprise one layer or plane, the attitude of play and the development of story can be another. And then use a third plane for influence. It is at the greatest points of intersection between these, and possibly other planes, where we get leverage for field-building. Also, consider that the “intersection” is not a fixed point or node but the gravitational resonance of the planes in close proimity. If that makes sense…I think it is useful to not consider that convergence as a fixed point or single activity. It is the interplay, and it is exists in the field and not the nodes in my conceptualization.

  • I think of field building as closely related to magnetism, and Cialdini’s principles (let’s call them factors of magnetism) offer a glimpse into the mysteries of what draws us. His factors are not complete, as there are intuitive forces at work that bring us to unexpected places, especially when building new fields. Sometimes we just “get a hunch” or follow a gut instinct and let that motivate us, not because there’s proof or liking, but because we sense something there to be discovered. I tend to trust instinct more than most of Cialdini’s persuasive factors….I wonder if other field builders would agree?

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