"What I want, what I really, really want" for #dadamac and me

Starting point - Dadamac and I are inextricably entwined.

If there had not been a Pamela McLean there would not have been a Dadamac.


The question is

  • If I (or circumstance) separated Pamela McLean from Dadamac what would remain?

Sub questions are:

  • Would there be a Dadamac without me? (I hope so, but I want to ensure so)
  • Does it matter?
  • Does Dadamac have any value to anyone other than to me?
  • Is it anything more than an absorbing and extravagant hobby that has taken over my life?
  • Would there be a "me" without Dadamac? (Given how much it has absorbed me since 2000 I have no idea what my life would look like without it.)
  • if I could separate them out then what would I want, what would I really, really want, for #dadamac and for me.

A step toward imagining this

So, given that I care about the answers to those questions, how can I find out?

It's simple (in theory).

I can imagine an infinite number of "nearly-clones" of me. A "nearly-clone" is someone who knows everything I know and who can do everything I can do. In addition a nearly-clone has the skills I don't have (or is willing to learn them).

There are other wondrous subtle variations of the nearly-clone. Nearly-clones love to do things I hate doing. They also prefer to leave to someone else (me) the things I like doing.

The nearly-clones skills include attracting external resources, so we can imagine a Dadamac that is well-resourced, instead of a largely self-funded experiment run mainly on sweat equity.

Naturally the nearly-clone comes in a variety of "finishes" (they don't all look like me) and they are improved versions (free of the "user-interface" glitches of the original).

So what does that look like, for me and for Dadamac?

Well, for a start I'd have the time and money to find the Zumba teacher who used to teach at the gym that shut down and I could go to her classes again. Other neglected areas of my life could be given some nurturing. I'd take a complete break for at least a month, and then see what I wanted to do (and notice what I had started to do).

I imagine that after a month I'd be wanting to see how Dadamac was getting on. I'd know, however, that it had certain characteristics and general directions in place (because of the clone factor) so I wouldn't need to influence it in any way.

I could just enjoy connecting with the Dadamac community, doing interesting things, being a bit useful here and there, and learning and thinking with some of my peers. I could set up a few more learning-by-doing initiatives as well, and invite interesting people along for "open conversations" (face to face or online).

I'd play around with information flows and how we can do genuine practical collaborative learning. I'd explore how the knowledge of changemakers can be continually harvested, and made freely available through a knowledge commons. I'd do loads of stuff to enable and support the explorers and pioneers of the Landscape of Change. 

What of Dadamac? What would it look like? What would the nearly-clones be doing?

Well, that would be wonderful.

They'd start with an audit of all the things I've experimented with.

They'd also have a full shared memory of all the people and organisations I connect with - and more importantly the actual and potential connections that I see between them. They wouldn't just see things as they are, they'd see the hidden patterns and connections as well. That would really speed things up.

There would always be lots of new initiatives and endeavours bubbling up within Dadamac and sliding in from elsewhere so the audit process would be continuous, part of an iterative process.

The nearly-clones would sort all the initiatives and endeavours into three main categories: success, deferred success, and learning experience.


An initiative recognised as a success would be reviewed regarding its continuation. There would also be experiments in replication/adaptation.

Deferred success

Initiatives that were not yet successful, but might be, would be analysed for blockages, and resources would be brought in to unblock them. These "slow or stalled" initiatives would re-emerge in a properly resourced way.

Learning experience

The outcomes of an endeavour may not be "success", as described above, but that doesn't make the endeavour itself a "failure" or a waste of time and resources.

If it is some kind of "learning-by-doing" endeavour (as most of my things are) then the endeavour is valuable for the learning.

It could be argued that the "successful projects" of Dadamac are incidental outcomes of practical learning experiences. Dadamac's real value is the learning it generates. (Nikki Fishman and I refer to the Dadamac interest in research and development as the role of the "Dadamacademy")

In my opinion the only really completely failed endeavour in Dadamac is one where no-one learns anything - and so far, someone (even if it's only me) has always learned something in the end - but often it is a painfully and unnecessarily slow process before I get to the "Aha!" moment.

According to Dadamacademy criteria, the only endeavours that count as success are those where knowledge is generated in a way that makes it accessible to others.

Back to the real world

I'd like to go on, explorign my ideas and gettgin them in order so that I know how best to act on them. Unfortunately nearly-clones are in short supply. Ineed to stop this exploration of my ideal world and get back to the real one, and the tasks that I'm bad at and that the nearly-clones would do so much better