EE Magazine Editorial April 2019 – What’s the Next Stage of Inter-organizational Relationships?

By Lia Aurami for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Most EE Magazine readers like you are quite fascinated by and devoted to developing “better ways” of functioning within organizations. Is anyone paying attention to developing new kinds of relationships among these new kinds of organizations? What are we collectively learning about that scale of “better ways?”

Enlivening Edge’s Evolutionary Purpose requires new inter-organizational relationships

Enlivening Edge has a special interest in those questions, because inter-organizational relationships lie at the heart of our Evolutionary Purpose. Our ultimate “greatest contribution” is co-creating a new societal mainstream with new consciousness in organizations.

We are doing that by “boosting the emergent collective intelligence and impact of the ecosystem of next-stage organizations and initiatives until they become the new mainstream of organizing work.” How do we do that boosting? By catalyzing connections among people who are co-creating the next stage of consciousness in organizations.

So you can see that the relationship concepts of “emergent collective intelligence” and of “[social] ecosystem” will shape the kinds of inter-organizational relationships that EE is seeking to pioneer, to cultivate and co-create, and to make more common.

Next-stage inter-organizational relationships is new territory

And there’s no template. No precedent. No readymade strategic partnership contracts to customize. Like you pioneers at the scale of individual organizations, EE, and other organizations seeking to relate to one another in next-stage consciousness, are having to invent and pioneer on that larger scale.

Our pioneering questions are baffling. What’s beyond win-win or mutual benefit? What might be even grander than inter-dependence? What do we offer and ask for? What are the greatest possibilities that our relationships can contribute to? Even: what are the most important, most exciting, most generative questions to ask around co-creating our inter-organizational relationships in the new consciousness?

How could EE’s relationships with other organizations express EE’s Evolutionary Purpose?

At Enlivening Edge, after 4 years, as we consider updating the name and purpose of our Ecosystem Partner Coordinator role, we’re asking ourselves these challenging and yet exciting questions. How do we want our relationships to express our Evolutionary Purpose?

For example, how could inter-organizational relationships co-create and operate as “emergent collective intelligence”? What would a “social ecosystem” of next-stage organizations be like and how could we help it form? And how would an ecosystem with that kind of emergent collective intelligence become a tipping point into a new mainstream of organizing work?

The question for today is: what are the characteristics of inter-organizational relationships that would express the Evolutionary Purpose of Enlivening Edge?

Our new dating profile: seeking synergies, collective intelligence, and social ecosystem

Just like people whose image of their ideal inter-personal relationship is evolving, we know what we don’t want to settle for. We don’t want to settle for only mutual benefit. Not even for only win-win-win relationships when the third win is the environment or our broader community of stakeholders, suppliers, etc. We want all that, and more.

We would love to leap into “next-next-stage” relationships in which both sides are capable of the perspective of energy flows of value, resources, or life energy. And we’ll be happy with “just” “next” stage relationships:

EE’s relationships with other organizations help co-create our emergent collective intelligence as we become aware of our potentially increased collective impact on society through relating synergistically in a social ecosystem.

By “synergistic” we mean that for each relationship,

  • the relationship itself is a “third party” valued and cultivated by the parties involved, and
  • that focus creates ripples of intentional benefit outward to many, and
  • the whole of the relationship is more than the sum of the parts, beyond mutual benefit, beyond mutual support, beyond win-win-win.

“More than the sum of the parts” means the parts get transformed into an emergent whole that’s not just cumulative, or aggregate, or additive, Put together into synergistic relationships, they are a “something” new, with its own unique characteristics not found in the parts as a collection. Something magical or alchemical happens. What comes out of the oven is radically different from what went into the oven. A synergistic relationship is even more complex, intimate, and powerful than a co-creative relationship.

We want synergistic relationships also because they contribute to and result from emergent collective intelligence with our partners, as a wisdom pool being co-created from certain levels and kinds of shared learnings. It is mostly subconscious, nonlinear, unpredictable, complex, with spontaneous emergences. There’s no cookbook or formula to produce it. We might say it too is an alchemical process.

The “whole” that emerges from synergistic relationships among next-stage organizations and initiatives could turn them from being just parts of a collection, network, or even community, into a social ecosystem. As explained in this previous Editorial, a social ecosystem has considerably more powerful collective intelligence to bring to bear on collective challenges, than a collection or network. So we’re going for that! That “whole” is the third “win” in our win-win-win approach.

The secret ingredient in our relationships

For next-stage organizations in this world, such an ecosystem is still only a potential. Enlivening Edge, to express its Evolutionary Purpose, will be calling attention: We’re synergistic partners. Do you realize that we are already parts of a growing, forming social ecosystem of next-stage organizations and initiatives? How could we matchmake among our friends and their friends, to form an even more complex, intelligent ecosystem with even more social impact on human life in organizations?

We are ready to experiment with other organizations who feel aligned with the new role name and purpose for our Ecosystem Partner Coordinator:

Inter-organizational Synergist: Discovering other next-stage organizations and initiatives and co-creating synergistic relationships with them in a way that fosters their awareness of [our being in] a growing ecosystem and its increased potential for societal transformation.

Always fractals

It’s inevitable for individuals reinvented in their consciousness and behavior, to reinvent their relationships and thus their organizations. Then they seek others and form increasingly complex relationships that result in increased societal change. In most of what EE does, we express our Evolutionary Purpose by catalyzing connections among next-stage individuals and groups.

As the scale increases to inter-organizational, co-learning our way through same sequence of increasingly interdependent and complex relationships is inevitable. The sooner we engage in that learning curve, the better for us and for the world. Are you learning new ways? What are you discovering through your experiences?

cropped me at IEC 2016-05-13 at 17.19.30 copy

Lia Aurami: Within Enlivening Edge, I energize a variety of roles to express my sacred life mission: to amplify our human capacity for living, working, and relating within shared higher consciousness. That optimizes the chances of success of transformative changes, by operationalizing collective and spiritual intelligence to help organizations be efficient and effective. I delight in creating and amplifying synergistic connections toward all that! 

Featured Image Photo by from Pexels