Friday April 27, 2007 A large group gathered at the Casa La Vista on Treasure Island in San Francisco to honor the passing of Michael Doyle—consultant, visionary, entrepreneur, coach, counsellor, and outrageous master of high play. He died on January 29, 2007 and this blog has been a gathering place for the many who were influenced and shaped by his extraordinary energy and charisma.
This was a professional wake, a conscious remembering of the way in which Michael's life has mirrored an era of unusual inventiveness and contribution. We all told his story, and it was our story, and his death seems to have scattered firebrands of consciousness and connection. "He was always first, and he was one of the first of us to go" one of his friends reflected. "I do believe he might have decided that he could get more done on the subtler plane."
In commemoration, a design team composed of Juli Betwee, Michael's "first and only wife" of 16 years, Meredith and Dan Beam, David Sibbet, Chris McGoff, Andrea Dyer, Cindy Wilson, and Susan Cardelli planned a several hour story telling process followed by a forward looking cafe to say goodbye to our dear friend and mentor. We gathered early on Saturday to begin collaging the history from photos and report covers and other memorabilia. Around 2:00 some 60 people arrived. Juli opened with a wonderful and touching rememberance and thanks. She then turned the afternoon over to Chris McGoff, one of Michael's close colleagues these past years to facilitate the storytelling. As the recorder working with Chris, I was able to create digital copies here that you can read to remember the event, or review it if you weren't able to come.
Just click on the photos and they will appear in a larger window and are mostly readable. We are working on a print ready version you could download and print.
This histomap was subsequently taken up to Sebastopol for a family celebration the following day, and will be shared at the Best In The West Organization Development Network conference this May 18, 2007.
Thanks to Bill Dahl for the photos included here. He took them with a new Sony videocam that has amazing resolution. Michael would have been to happy that even his celebration was edgy when it came to technology and group process.
At the end of the day, after a wonderful cafe process led by Meredith Beam and Andrea Dyer, the tables shared out the WOWs and inspirations they received during the event. It was recorded by Karen Stratvert, a colleague who worked many years with Michael on many of the projects talked about during the day.
I took this photo of Juli during the event. In her remarks she said that the most fitting tribute she could make to this man who had been such an extraordinary part of her life was to "be the person he believed I could be." That was Michael's gift. He saw possibilities. He dreamed. He was "mythic" in the true sense of the word. The tribute we all could make is to truly change the dream of the north, and be as collaborative and heartful in community as we were this amazing Saturday.