This is Part 2 of a 2-part article set. Part 1 by Morya Short is here.
Are you longing to CoCreate with LIFE rather than trying to resist it? Are you longing to be fully alive in your life, at work and in communities? Do you long for your work and purpose to be LIFE-expanding?
Since you are a member of the Enlivening Edge Community, the answer to these three questions is probably “YES!” In that case I have a new project you might be interested in. But before we get into the details let me go back a bit so you can understand how this project was formed.
My first job as an engineer was a disaster. It was so bad that it opened up a lifelong quest for me (so maybe it was good in some ways). The question that arose in me was:
How do we make work and jobs a part of LIFE, a contribution to LIFE and open for LIFE to flow?
I have been working on this question
as a career counsellor by helping others understand how to choose the education and job that will expand their life,
as a manager: How to make jobs better for my employees?
as a consultant: How to create organizations where people can be fully alive and human, so they can contribute their best work?
as author of a book about complexity and unpredictability in the construction sector: How to navigate in complexity instead of denying it?
For the last year I have been writing a book about the topic. I enjoyed the writing process; it has felt like a fulfilment of my life’s work.
Then two months ago, everything about the book changed in the most unexpected and magical way. I discovered that this book is going to be written as a CoCreative project, in multiple languages simultaneously.
I attended Flourishing Futures and at the last session about action planning I convened an open-space session on “How to get more dialogue about my book?” And then magic happened! Two women attended. One was Marie Örnesved from Sweden, who is a publisher taking publishing in a whole new direction. The other was Ola Chodasz from Poland, who suggested writing the book in different languages at the same time. Within those 20 minutes I knew that my book was transformed into a CoCreating Book Project.
In January, we will run a launch event which will provide more details and bring the process of inviting people to join the next steps in forming a 5 – 7 person team.
As our project planning unfolded, we have discovered that we are not going to do a “mechanical” translation, but instead have beautiful talks in English about the topic and then write them in our own language. At the end of the project we will publish the book in approximately 5 languages at the same time.
Beliefs that limit cocreativity
Right now my thoughts on the book are that there are some beliefs/subconscious assumptions that most of us have in common, at least in the Western worldview, and that these are preventing us from CoCreating with LIFE, letting LIFE grow and flow in our lives, in organizations and in communities. When we become conscious of these beliefs, we can choose new and more appropriate beliefs and build them into our daily life.
The beliefs are:
We believe that employees, managers, citizens, and stakeholders are mechanical objects that we can push around. We talk about moving people from A to B as if they cannot walk themselves.
But we are all living human beings with passion, inherent purpose, and natural talents.
We believe that money—the bottom line and BNP/GDP—is the goal and the purpose of our lives, organizations and nations. Visions and ideas are often declined if they are not increasing the bottom line or BNP/GDP.
Money cannot be the purpose of life. Growing the bottom line cannot be the purpose of an organization, and BNP or GDP cannot be the purpose of a nation. Money is very often an important means to achieve a purpose, yet it is not a purpose in itself.
We believe that to get results we have to and are able to predict the results, then make a plan about how to achieve the results, and then force LIFE into the plan. It takes an enormous amount of work and other resources to do that, and we still experience that something unpredictable happens and we don’t achieve the results despite our enormous efforts.
But what else to do? In his book Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux introduced the idea of listening to the Evolutionary Purpose of an organization. It might be the initiator of the organization or somebody in the organization who has the ability to listen in to the evolutionary wisdom.
I have some experience enabling managers and employees to talk about their dreams for the organization and listen between the lines of what’s said, in short, listening for the common dream. However, this is quite a rare direction for organizations to take. I would love to see this become the norm.
I was wondering how that could happen until I met Marie. Marie is doing a platform for CoCreation together with Morya Short. (See Part 1 of this article.) LINK Now I joined their platform and they are supporting me in CoCreating the book.
At this point CoCreation is a gift for me! When we CoCreate the book, we will be sensing LIFE and listen to what wants to emerge. We will help each other listen. This is a marvelous opportunity to experiment and explore how it really works. It’s amazing. Knowing that the book has to be CoCreated is itself a product of listening to what wants to emerge. I already feel at ease about doing the book project, which is great sign that we are on the right track.
Reinventing our organizations is about recognizing limiting beliefs, choosing new beliefs, and converting them to everyday habits for ourselves and our organisations. I don’t think the managers should, or are able to, build new beliefs into anyone but themselves. We are all going to need to reflect on our beliefs and choose some new ones. In my article about SAFE SPACE in organizations in EE Magazine I have described an easy and accessible method to do that.
How would CoCreation look in an ordinary work context? I think we already experience it in deep conversations. Everybody has experienced this amazing feeling of an idea popping up in a meeting and suddenly being “the given solution” although we did not know about it 5 minutes before.
What makes it happen? How can we encourage it to happen more often? How can we trust in LIFE happening? How can we CoCreate from our hearts?
Please join our dialogue about CoCreating. In February we will share our insights so far. Fabric of Life (Marie Örnesved from Sweden and Morya Short from UK) and I will host a dialogue about discovering CoCreating and our experiences in Cocreating the book. See the invitation here. CoCreation Insights from the Journey (confetti.events)
Lise Damkjaer is educated as a civil engineer and has been working with facilitation, process consulting and leadership for about 30 years, mostly in Denmark.