We work with you to establish three new capabilities:
1. Discover ‘a new source of power’
Shortly after running the first ever sub 4 minute mile, Sir Roger Bannister recalled something he experienced on his penultimate lap: “No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamed existed.” In 2009 Captain Sullenberger accessed that same resourceful still mind in the minutes after Flight 1549 hit a flock of geese before gliding with no engines to a perfect water landing in the Hudson River from an altitude of only 850 metres, which no-one had ever done before.
Many of us have had similar experiences, but very few have done so consistently or at will. And so we tend to think of these moments as elusive or mysterious, or irrelevant to the practical issues we face. This need not be so, once we see these occur naturally and automatically when our thinking mind let’s go of its incessant need to maintain control of our lives.
In Sir Roger’s case his mind’s letting go of control came from a recognition he had done all he could to prepare and this present moment was now all there was. and from that inner acceptance feeling a profound connection with the cheering crowd. In Captain Sully’s case, the inner relaxing came in a moment of recognition there was no time or other option available to him, except to trust his own inner guidance to bring the plane down safely.
But also, these instances can be chosen consciously once we understand the dynamic, and recognise them as moments where we lean into our true nature — a presence that is accessible at any time and in any circumstance.
It is this capacity that enables us to stand at cause in our experience, seeing from a purely positive perspective, where we respond automatically in a way that is truly helpful, with access to the capacity to transform any problematic situation ourselves — to see real solutions, perform ‘all in’, and to thrive no matter what. It is the foundation of our approach.
Although this ‘new source of power’ has its own direction and defies being harnessed for selfish ends, we can create the conditions where it flourishes naturally for the benefit of the whole team and community. We have created a framework for self-organising and decision making that invokes this state as our default way of being and working together.
“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness the energies of Love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
2. Allow things to become very simple
When you try to control over a living system it becomes fractious, fragile and fraught with problem. Living systems self-organise in simple, natural and powerful ways.
‘Identity’ and ‘self-organisation’ are two of the principles that enable living systems to thrive: If we know who we are, we also know what we value; and if something is valuable enough to us we will self-organise to bring it into being. A team will do this automatically once we give them the freedom to come together to explore what is most important to them, and to pursue that in a way that works for them.
What is meaningful to us determines what we pay attention to and what we ignore. It therefore determines how we see our world, and so also shapes our beliefs, our communication and our behaviour. Our culture, then, is simply a product of this on-going dialogue about what we value and what our purpose is. Facilitate this, allowing everyone to bring their own aspirations to the table, and everything else falls into place.
This is how we tap into a collective intelligence far greater than any individual could bring, and how we create coherent self-directed action. It is also how a team and a whole enterprise comes alive — perfect order without the need for control. Common interest acts as a ball of attraction that holds everything together while giving people the space to exercise individual freedom. Leadership is now free to emerge wherever it is needed from the initiatives of people and groups themselves.
Our resistance to letting go of centralised control is deep rooted, and manifests as two fears. Put crudely, they are:
1. What will happen if we let the monkeys run the zoo?
2. How will we get anything done if everyone has to agree?
The resolution to both these fears is to not use consensus or compromise as a substitute for top-down decision making. Consensus dilutes responsibility, leaving no-one feeling they have it fully. Compromise produces ‘average’ decisions that don’t fulfil anyone. We can do much better than that.
“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
3. Create a Virtuous Circle
“It is not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
There are a pair of living systems principles that work together to ensure that healthy, open systems continue to thrive, whilst everything else falls by the wayside. They are:
- the more open and receptive to its environment a living system is, the more responsive it is to change, and the healthier it becomes
- a healthy living system will attract an ecosystem of support, furthering it’s ability to thrive and become more ‘attractive’ still.
We can now take these universal principles and create a way of working together so that, by default, our teams and enterprises continuously evolve and flourish
The Convo Process — continuous evolution by design
Every enterprise is unique, and will therefore have its own roles, strategies, policies, practices and processes. It may also have a mission statement, philosophy or set of values. It is the way that they are created and developed, not these things themselves, that determines how powerful and compelling they are.
In the Convo process these things remain as ever-evolving works in progress, whose development is the outcome an open and on-going dialogue where bring our own experience of using them, in the context of our own aspirations. They remain relevant and useful because everyone is stress-testing them in real time. Everyone is committed to them, because they are our own co-developed creations, not another’s. Without resistance what can now stand in the way of their effective implementation!
‘Be so good they can’t ignore you’ ~ Steve Martin’s response to a question about the key to his success.
These simple principles that breathe new life into tired teams and organisations, and promote rapid evolution of the core elements of a thriving enterprise, make us stand out from the crowd to the extent that we become, quite literally, remarkable. People can’t help but remark about what they find extraordinary; and so we become a magnet for talented staff, great clients and like-minded partners. These cohorts, by bringing their own aspirations and concerns to the Convo process, fuel further evolution, making us more remarkable still.
And so, instead of a control structures that rises, stagnates and then fails in predictable stages, we create a virtuous circle where success begets success — where over time our team or enterprise grows more resilient, intrinsically valuable, and loved by its whole ecosystem. We have done this by placing the evolution process at the heart of its operating system, creating a culture of mutual support help together by common interest and trust.