Principle 9: PLANNED INFORMALITY TO INCREASE ACCESSIBILITY AND SPONTANEOUS BEHAVIOR AND SOFTENING OF INTERPERSONAL BOUNDARIES.
The novelty of it drew attention and it was easier to behave outside of one’s role. In one sense it released energy for people to “be” with each other in addition to “doing” with each other. This in itself unified the group to its purpose.
“They were working under highly unusual conditions. In contrast to the serious items on the table was the bucolic setting of Camp David with an enchanting hint of autumn in the air. The mood of informality was evident from the participants’ attire. Instead of the pinstripe suite of traditional diplomacy, Carter wore faded denims, an old cardigan and comfortable sneakers. Sadat at in his elegantly tailored Safari suits and sport coats resembled a continental taking the waters at a spa. Even Begin, whose sartorial formality is one of his trademarks, occasionally shed his coat and tie. Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dyan and Defense Minister Ezra Weizmann sported wind breakers bearing the Camp David seal and US security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski wore a submariner’s jacket at several sessions.”
Principle 10. CONTINUOUS JUXTAPOSITION OF PEACE WITH ITS OPPOSITE.
The theme was Peace without Victory. Forward movement was paradoxical. It helped to experience–the certain virtue of peace and the reality of bloodshed at the same time.
“On the Summit’s first weekend the participants took a respite from diplomacy when Carter, at military buff Begin’s request, organized a three and a half hour excursion to the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield, some seventeen miles north of Camp David. The group viewed monuments and century old cannons. Carter attempted to lighten the mood by joking that the gun had a range of three miles vs. three hundred to four hundred yards for the cluster bombs that the U.S. sold to Israel after the 1973 war. Sadat and Begin somehow managed to laugh.”
Principle 11. MANY MEETINGS AMONG AND BETWEEN LEVELS OF AUTHORITY AT THE SAME TIME.
Complicated problems called for networked communication. In the past there had been so many unpredictable and unintended consequences of discussions that conventional groupings at Camp David would have resulted in more misunderstanding. People were, therefore, permitted to assemble as need suggested.
“On Wednesday Powell was more guarded than ever at his briefing. He talked of ‘final stages’. He said that so many meetings were taking place simultaneously that ‘I can’t imagine any more intensive period of discussions.’”
Principle 12. TENSION RELEASE MECHANISMS ARE EASILY AVAILABLE.
Bikes, walks, movies, religious experiences — Tension release mechanisms were readily available.
Stress can be avoided or used as the basis for coaching transformation and mediating disputes. Without play there is an aggressive convergence on work, duty, and responsibility. People lose their liveliness, and interest in learning diminishes. The conference successfully combined opportunities for work and play — for tensing against and relaxing from demands of work and personal contact.
“The problem apparently was Sadat’s mounting frustration and Begin’s adamant refusal to accept the principle of Arab sovereignty over the West Bank. It took a talk with Dayan and a long walk with Carter before Sadat cooled off and the crisis passed.”