The discussion was extremely useful. We talked about the realities of the bicycle industry, particularly its historic propensity to attract young men -- who are mostly not known for their communications skills -- and how well that reality overlaps with the tools of consensus and cooperation (sometimes well, sometimes not so well). We also talked about my desire to bring the tools of cooperation to Jewish institutions, which are known for their very traditional hierarchical leadership structure as well as for their near-fossilization (significant change in Jewish institutions takes a very, very long time and does not come about easily).
I also told this woman about my explorations in the field of Jewish music and education, and how new information and opportunities seem to be unfolding for me in this arena.
In turn, she told me about how she'd gotten into Organizational Development as a field. She's done a ton of work in Human Resources management. When the company who'd hired her went out of business, she turned to teaching in an MBA program -- and that, she told me, was when "the phone began ringing". People began calling her to ask for her help in resolving workplace issues, as a consultant. She's been able to parlay her years of experience in collectives, various non-profits and social change movements and other activities into over twenty years of this kind of work, and so far the phone is still ringing for her. She gave me some resources to check out online and in books; and gave me the name of another person working with the tools of consensus and cooperation whom I might want to contact for more information.
This wise lady also gave me some advice that caught me off-guard: "Ask yourself what you really want from your life. Be true to yourself, because you can't turn yourself into something you aren't. And pay close attention to where the phone is ringing for you."
..::the squeaky hammer of the cosmos hits me over the head::..
The telephone is definitely ringing, though not where or how I thought it might.