Reflections on the EE Community Conversations, January 2017

By Andrew MacDonald for Enlivening Edge Magazine

These bi-monthly video conversations offer a very rich learning environment, as well as a delight in finding “kindred spirits” that develops amazingly quickly during each call. In a sense, we’re a network of Teal organization explorers. One member shared the perspective that the organizations we work in are themselves “networks” (in contrast to profit-seeking systems, for example) and that their moving to Teal is partly their becoming a conscious network. While this might not be a new insight, it came to life as an organizing principle for him. In real-time calls, conceptual understandings often can and do land more personally.

“I’m getting more back than I’m giving here,” one participant said.

Because participants come from different backgrounds and work in or explore very different work environments, the breadth of the community continually reveals perspectives others haven’t been exposed to yet.

Using zoom teleconferencing, the call participants tune in together, connect, and explore the edge where the growing individual meets the awakening collective, especially our work with organizations.

Each call is around one of six themes* that illuminate aspects of the emerging edge we’re experiencing. The first call in January was around Gifts and the second on Invitation.

The calls deal with both the world out there and the resolutely personal. Our framework asks strikingly powerful questions that invite each of us to look at what’s really going on in our work and work-lives. (Each caller answers in their own way, or declines to answer.)

One participant was pointing to this connection when she said, to offer our gifts to the world we just need to be our authentic self, revealing the best of us in every interaction. Another one shared that we can stay open to what needs to emerge without any expectations. Someone said happily that connecting in these conversations helps her to make forming deep and authentic connections elsewhere in life and work more the norm and not the exception.

What struck another caller is that for her, when someone shares from their heart, no matter what it is, it’s impossible not to feel in love with that person. One person shared that he and associates are in the early stages of creating a Teal Community.

After the regular call is a short time of free-form conversation, which is always powerful in its own way.

A frequent theme in the January calls was how the organizational and the personal sides of us go together. On the one hand we’re a questing learning soul with a one-of-a-kind nature that’s individuating further. And on the other hand, we’re part of a cooperative network that’s becoming aware of itself. The different conversations we have with each other in this ongoing series reflect the conversations we have with ourselves. They’re connected.

If you’d like to read the Reflections on the December 2016 conversations, they’re here.

The 90-minute Enlivening Edge Community Conversations take place on the first and third Thursday of each month, 10 AM US-Pacific, 6 PM UK, 7 PM Austria, via the free Zoom videoconferencing platform. There is no charge to participate.

The next call is Thursday, March 2nd. You can sign up here.

*The structure of the calls is based around Peter Block’s A Small Group (ASG) methodology. Following a model of his, each EE call is an inquiry into one of six conversations that illuminate various distinctions related to change. A Small Group Civic Engagement booklet can be downloaded for free here.