This article is your invitation to belong to a small group of people committed to explore, discover and implement possibilities of integrating a deep sense of community into more workplaces.
Underlying the word community is the idea of belonging. There are three important perspectives on belonging. One is the strong human need for a sense of belonging, being a part of something greater than ourselves. Work provides one way that need can be fulfilled.
Another part of belonging is the actual experience of belonging to something, such as the company or organization one works in. When a person experiences their belonging, they will support, build, strengthen, and contribute to that company.
Master Teacher of Community Peter Block offers a third and even broader and deeper perspective, “Belonging can also be thought of as a longing to be. Being is our capacity to find our deeper purpose in all that we do. It is the capacity to be present and to discover our authentic whole selves.”
The core question underlying this invitation is: what are the ways and means through which those of us committed to creating a sense of community within the workplace can support the emergence of this new way of being in work?
We have a great challenge to master: The essential challenge is to transform the isolation and self-interest within the workplace into connectedness and caring for the whole. The change has started. What is needed now is the unifying of various groups and individuals who have been engaged in this transformation work into a larger, more integrated, collective. This new proposed group will facilitate that by bringing individuals and small groups together to create a structure and a new context. The initial conversations described below can provide a basis for a new movement.
In learning and sharing with each other and then acting from an emergent community of purpose, we can achieve a greater impact in shifting organizations toward taking community more seriously as something essential to their business success.
In our conversations, as in good community practices, all voices are needed to be heard. Diversity and inclusion are essential. Those who take this journey together will share and give birth to new possibilities.
We will start our journey soon. We invite you to join us for an introductory conversation on March 22nd at 1000 Pacific time, and to sense whether this endeavor calls to you.
After that meeting you will have the chance to commit to six follow-up facilitated conversations based upon Peter Block’s book Community, the Structure of Belonging. Those six conversations will allow us to not only get to know one another and form a collective intelligence, but also to help our shared purpose emerge, as we deepen our understanding of what a community is, based on this master teacher’s framework.
After those six conversations, there will be a possibility of an extended and deeper commitment to sharing the outcome of the process with others and taking others through the same process, to help spread understanding of the importance of the idea of community to more conscious businesses. We would be sharing our discoveries and wisdom with other groups and businesses who are wanting what we have discovered.
Will Van Inwagen is an agent of change in an ongoing global movement that is catalyzing transformation of the way people and organizations work. He is a certified and experienced guide/facilitator in many modalities. He is currently a co-host for the Enlivening Edge Community Conversations and host for Varin Consulting’s Café Humancentricity.