By Will Van Inwagen and Jens Rinnelt for Enlivening Edge Magazine
Enlivening Edge has been hosting twice-monthly Community Conversations for over five years now. Will started these conversations because he had a deep desire to discover and learn from others who were on their journey into the world of Next Stage Organizations. From the numerous conversations he saw how much these often-isolated innovators needed to connect with others, and how easily they felt safe and at home in the EE community conversations.
Over the years he saw a trend developing. People in the community conversations were inspired and motivated to integrate into their own organizations all the passion they felt around the book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux and articles they’d read in Enlivening Edge Magazine.
They tried to share their new-found wisdom and enthusiasm and in many cases their ideas and concepts were not well received. People came back to the community conversations frustrated, feeling alienated, alone, and not feeling supported except during the conversation, or by friendships they formed through the conversations.
Will has had the privilege and profound experience of many deep personal conversations with many of these passionate change-makers and organizational transformers. The majority had attended numerous Teal workshops and were given general information and ideas that had no real applicability to their specific needs.
What they wanted most was to be with a group of like-minded, like-energy people where they could regularly exchange ideas, triumphs, and challenges, be supported and listened to, share their wisdom with peers, and gain skills from peers.
That kind of group is a Community of Practice: people with some expertise engage together regularly for peer support-encouragement and peer teaching-coaching-learning.
Four of us transformation agents from the emerging ecosystem of next-stage organizations were among those longing for such a group. We were professional friends, but we hadn’t coalesced.
We got inspired by Alia Aurami’s December 2020 editorial in Enlivening Edge Magazine, which positions communities of practice in one of the four fractal scales of the emerging social ecosystem of next-stage organizations. (The scales are: (1) people within organizations, (2) teachers of those people, (3) groups of organizational people and their teachers, and (4) groups of people who operate on the scale of countries and languages to integrate all of those previous 3 kinds of work into a social ecosystem of collaborations and synergistic relationships.) We began to realize the potential for transforming ourselves, from being just professional friends, on the scale of teachers/coaches/podcasters/consultants, to formally meeting together for mutual support and co-learning, in other words, becoming a community of practice.
As organizational evolutionists we ongoingly co-create beyond our particular organizational boundaries, so founding a community of practice among ourselves felt natural. It turned out to be the best idea we’ve had in a long time!
Our founding members are:
Will Van Inwagen from Being in Systems and Enlivening Edge, experienced in bringing people and groups together and facilitating emergent conversations.
Norbert Netten, founder of Power of Connection, Radical Self-management and Presenting from Connection, experienced executive and team coach, focusing on the human aspect in collaborations by helping people reconnect to themselves, others, and the planet. Author of three books and several e-books.
Jens Rinnelt, Businesshumanizer and Ecosystem facilitator, multiple social entrepreneur, as for example with co-founding Emprogage, a self-governing, collectively-owned and holistic consultancy, or and currently being engaged in building a market-oriented resource-based economy based on trustful and impactful collaborations called Purposeful Ecosystem (PES).
Our little “community of practice” with ongoing conversations helped us learn and be inspired so each of us could become more effective workplace transformers. We found our meetings extremely valuable, and they reinforced our intuition from our past experiences in working with organizations and other pioneers of changes, that we were on the right path in our life work.
A community of practice includes having everyone feel seen and supported for who you are and what you are bringing to the world. Another aspect of a CoP is that it contributes to solving the challenges that are meaningful to its members. That’s what we’ve been experiencing with each other.
Our experience together has been so extraordinarily valuable that we want to turn around and enable that for more folks. So we are inviting you to explore joining our community of practice of human-centric workplace transformers.
We desire for you to attend a few of our meetings experimentally, to get the feel of our community of practice in which you will experience an authentic way of being, connecting with topics and themes you find meaningful, and you will be in co-creation with other stewards of evolution.
We are opening up two of our sessions in May, which are on Tuesdays the 11th and 25th at 1000 Pacific USA, 1900 CET, for prospective new members. We invite you to attend the two complimentary sessions before we mutually decide if there is a good fit. If you decide to join us, there will be a membership fee. (And we will be gifting a portion of that to Enlivening Edge for providing such fertile soil for our work and emergence.)
Jens Rinnelt, as Businesshumanizer, evolves the way we collaborate, through bringing consciousness and compassion into the way we work, in order to create holistic and integral human-centric work ecosystems that enable a thriving human and business. He is Partner at the Teal Organizational Development Consultancy Paul-x.
Will Van Inwagen is an agent of change in an ongoing global movement that is catalyzing and transforming the way people and organizations work. He has been a partner with Enlivening Edge and other Teal organizations over the last five years. These experiences have given him the gift and proficiency of being able to coach, mentor and co-create new ways of being with individuals and organizations that have made the decision to become a self-managed organization.
Featured Image Photo by USGS on Unsplash: River delta (synergistic co-creation; many streams and ideas merging into one)