web 2.0 for development

The importance of an OPEN MIND


Interesting discussion with Mario Gastaldi on change in organizations, yesterday afternoon here at FAO.

Kept in my mind two main inputs:

the doubts on the value of


the importance of

In particular, I keep on reflecting and elaborating the second point. To me, an OPEN MIND is :

– the ability to listen to people in every occasion,
– the unconscious feeling of being able to go to a meeting ready to let ideas from the others coming to you,
– the desire to focus not only on what you want to express,
– the capacity to have an “empty” mind, ready to be filled by external inputs,
– the willingness to let the positive feelings from outside affect on your mood,
– the positiveness towards the others’ notes,
– the sensitivity to the others’ remarks and needs,

How many other ways come to you to describe the state of a mind when it’s open?

As Mario was saying yesterday, it doesn’t mean to let the others do whatever they like. The point is to be convinced of what you believe but let ALWAYS place for doubts.

So, we need to find a deep balance inside ourselves to be able to manage certainties and uncertainties at the same time: to become open minded, we need a sort of Japanese Dō (). I think being OPEN is a really difficult state of the MIND,  but we can focus on it and try everyday to make it a more common habit.


Author: Luca Servo @ talksharelearn

Passionate about social media, development projects and the world. Currently, I’m supporting the Emergency Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in managing its online communication through the website, the social media and the mobile apps.

7 thoughts on “The importance of an OPEN MIND

  1. Thanks Luca for posting this.

    What was also clear was that if change or decisions are forced onto employees they might accept them but then they will find ways to “play the system” and finally do as they actually want to. So, we need to embrace processes that (sometimes might be time consuming) encourage conversations, encourage collective sharing and learning and allow change to emerge from within. Suspend any pre-judgement you have about what is “expected” or “should be” and open your mind to new thoughts and viewpoints! Simple but often not practiced.

    • Gauri, I totally agree, I had the same reflections after listening to Mario. Encourage conversations and absorption by people of the changes proposed is a KEY to hope to see changes accepted and adopted.
      We have to DIGEST what others prepared for us, it is so natural at the end!

  2. Hi Luca, thanks for posting this.
    I really like your way of giving detailed examples of what an open mind is!
    There is a different nuance in each one of the definitions.
    In order to make the point, sometimes, while in a workshop, I give one person a glass half full of water, and keep filling it with water until water pours on the floor … 🙂
    One way to convey the message that you have to “empty” your glass in order to be able to welcome others thoughts and new learning opportunities …
    Thanks for the nice and rich conversation too!

    • Ciao Mario, it was very interesting to hear these concepts from you. We are spending lot of time trying to explain them and when someone gives us feedback on what we do, it is always very important for us.
      I like this example of the glass and I’ll keep it for the future.

  3. Pingback: Cultura Organizzativa: una presentazione per KM4DEV Roma

  4. Good to see the “good” results of this conversation! ourselves

  5. What a great photo! Thanks Luca.

    Here is the summary of the KM4Dev Rome session with Mario Gastaldi:

    Look forward to more KM4Dev events!

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