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The C - factor - woensdag 23 november 2011


The C – factor
Applying Chaordic Design questions to identify what is unfolding now…
What if chaos is merely an experience of ‘undiscovered patterns’, waiting to be unravelled? To be converged into an interwoven and interconnected whole that defines our projects, businesses and organisations? To become uncovered as just enough order that releases and can hold the manifestation of good ideas into great practice?

I choose to understand co-creation as meaningful conversation in which we put our collective intelligence to work, to serve the emergence of purposeful action.

What is needed in that process of co-creation is for us not only to participate in the conversation, but first and foremost to be fully present in the conversation; to host ourselves to contribute our full authentic selves. Communion, connection and order can only surface when we as participants contribute a strong sense of agency and identity, when we become aware of what is there available to connect. In that chaos, that undiscovered pattern, of talented, skilful (social) change agents, lies the invitation for the emergence of meaningful collaboration for purposeful action.

Chaordic Design questions can serve the process of naming what it is that wants to unfold. When inquired into with authenticity and sincere curiosity we can start to feel the C – factor, the power of co-creation from a field of collective wisdom.

As autonomous individuals gather, let’s ask ourselves what is the real needthat we deeply experience in the world? In our organisation? In our team? And in which of the other person’s needs do I recognise my view? Where do we profoundly connect? The outcome of this inquiry is a statement of need. A statement that elicits a powerful shared view of what is needed, now.

Rooted in this sense of seeing a shared need in the world, we can start the discovery of purpose, the naming of our collective destination. A statement of purpose springs from an inquiry into the question ‘What are we jointly becoming now, in response to the need that we sense?’. A statement of purpose serves to make explicit the identity of a whole, of a system, of a team or an organisation. It gives words to a vocation, a calling, for our particular group of people; where our collective talent meets a (real) need in the world, there lies our vocation.

And with this ‘destination’ sealed in hearts, minds and souls, we can engage ourselves in a conversation on coreproduct: ‘What are we offering in pursuit of our purpose?’. Exploring how we will show up in the world, what we will contribute to respond to the real need that we experience?

As our limiting beliefs, our conditioning, might get in the way of a free flow of convergence around these questions, it has proven essential in my experience to translate our empowering beliefs into principles of cooperationthat will guide us in our quest of pursuing our purpose and delivering our core product. Inquiring into ‘How do we choose to behave in pursuit of our purpose?’ provides valuable guidelines to host ourselves and our colleagues, and to hold each other accountable for our contributions and actions, as we walk the chaordic path together.

As need, purpose, product and principles tend to define the genetic code of our business, of our project, of our organisation, we’ll become noticeable to others. They can start to feel us, to see us, to resonate with us. Therefore the next chaordic design question aims to uncover our relationship to (other) people: ‘Who are our mates?’, ‘What is their level of commitment to and involvement with our purpose?’, ‘Where do we want to meet them and how?’

And grounded in this sense of our playing field, the time will have come to identify our concept, the unique features that define our project or business. By exploring the question ‘What are the unique characteristics of our project / organisation?’ we can begin to uncover the true nature of what we are to manifest in the world, in pursuit of our purpose, in response to the need that we deeply sense and share. Remember that concept comes from the verb ‘to conceive’, this is not a brainstorm, this is fully presencing the (energetic) container that holds our collaboration as a group or a team of (change) agents together. It’s co-creation at its finest.

And then, and only then, has come the time to ask ourselves ‘How do we choose to organise ourselves?’, ‘What is our structure?’. One of the most common traps that I have come across in my work is that teams of people will ask themselves this question first, sometimes even before need… But only with a destination locked in hearts and souls and a crystallised container that holds the creative energy of all involved, a functional and minimal structure that serves our practice can evolve.

And then,…practice! Time to put our hands where our mouths are: prototype, experiment, start somewhere and learn… And it will be guaranteed that after some time our attention will be redirected to revisit our whole chaordic design. As meaningful, purposeful and emergent action can really change the world, our sense of real need in the world will most likely shift.

Are you ready for round two?

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