Building Black Belt teams and partnerships 🤝🌟

Have you ever experienced any of the following?

  • Beginning a project or enterprise partnership with all of the passion in the world, only to have the partnership become a horror story?
  • Have you found yourself on a team, and have the team dynamics become so messy, toxic and destructive that all your available energy has gone into treading water instead of working on the project?
  • Have you brought together a community group and have it become a constant tussle for power?

You have? Me too. It really sucks.

You cannot sleep. You walk around with dread. The stress is overwhelming, even paralysing.

Yet, these circumstances are common. Indeed, it is more common to get these outcomes from people working together, than to get synergy, where everyone is better for working together.

Ecologies and teams of synergy are the exception.

Broken partnerships and messy teams are the norm.

Yet we continue to operate under the illusion that the next time will be better.

Without doing anything differently.

The expectation that a magic something will happen.

Excellent teams and partnerships have elements to them that make it so. It is rarely luck.

Think of a gardener in spring, readying the garden bed and soil to grow vegetables.

If the gardener creates the right soil, nutrients, light, water and temperature, the plants grow themselves. The gardener’s job is to create the right conditions and leave the plants alone.

How do we create the conditions, context and ecology for partnerships and teams to be brilliant, collaborative and synergistic?

What are the ingredients?

Required pre-work

Prioritising INVESTMENT in the human relational dynamic is the essential first step.

Questions to consider:

1. Do we place the human relational dynamics as the most essential element of our enterprise or team? The quality of the relationships is sacred ground. (This could also extend to the relational dynamic with creatures and Earth)

2. Does my partner feel the same about the importance of investing in our relational dynamics? If not, is this a significant red flag? (Yes, it is.)

Black Belt Partnering and Teaming

What are the threshold-crossing conditions before anyone joins the team or becomes a partner?

Think of it like Martial Arts. A Yellow belt is easy, requires minimal commitment and has little responsibility.

To gain a Black Belt, you have to want it. The commitment is high. The responsibility to maintain the Black Belt is significant.

What type of team or partnership are you building?

Yellow Belt or Black Belt?

In Syntropic World, our threshold crossing just to become a part of the team or community is high.We have a Black Belt attitude. We adjust this threshold crossing to account for people with various levels of inequity of access.

At the minimum, we have people sign the Trust Manifesto for Syntropic World and complete the Synergetic Audit, answering the question – what do you have the capacity, willingness and desire to bring to Syntropic World community and for your contribution what do you expect in return?

The Trust Manifesto includes a clear statement of purpose, the way we aim to achieve that purpose and the very elements of the enterprise that we hold sacred to everything we do. Like integrity. Zero exploitation.

Now we are across the threshold, what happens?

Ingredient #1. Make the time for an initial team or partnership synthesis. Again, it is an investment in the relational dynamics.

To synthesise the team, go through the Synergistic Audit for each person. Or at least, the lighter version, Seeing You at Source. I recommend the full version for teams up to significant work for a world with a future.

In all my years of working with teams and partnerships, the Synergistic Audit is the most powerful tool I have ever encountered that brings people into a deeper state of connection elegantly and in a timely manner. It allows everyone to be witnessed in the wholeness.

Every time I have facilitated this experience, the explosions of possibility and coherence are amplified beyond anyone’s expectation. People make sovereign choices to change paths, exit, and step up.

People are seen in their wholeness, enabling a sense of individual significance within a team that becomes synergistic. Every person I have met wants to feel like they matter and are seen. The Synergistic Audit gives the context for this.

The investment in time for the partnership or team to complete the Synergistic Audit saves time.

Ingredient #2. Workshop the Trust Manifesto.

The Trust Manifesto, in its lite version, is a declaration that people like us do things like this. This is how we make decisions. This is how we handle conflict. This is what responsibility and accountability look like. Here is how we communicate. This is how we arrive and leave all meetings and the work itself daily.

Workshopping the elements of the Trust Manifesto is an ongoing process. Everyone learns to be better communicators, leaders, stewards, mentors and coaches.

For a few examples, see The Trust Manifesto for Syntropic World.The Syntropic Enterprise Trust Manifesto July 2023.pdf

Trust Manifesto for Planetari.

Planetari Trust Manifesto.pdf

Ingredient #3. Make the implicit explicit.

We all have expectations. Expectations of ourselves, of others, of the work, of the world.

More often than not, we neglect to name those expectations. (See the article on expectations here.)

We must make the implicit – all of those unstated expectations, particularly of your partner or team – explicit.

For example. This is how we handle money. This is how we treat each other. This is what we do first when there is a breakdown or miscommunication. This is how we treat customers. This is why we are here. This is what I want. This is my shadow. When this happens, you do not get my best.

Too often, the implicit unstated expectation becomes the idea and partner killer.

The small things accumulated when toxic will destroy. Just as the small things accumulated when inspirational will lead to significance.

Ingredient #4

A Synergistic team or partnership is alive. The structures and systems that create the context are alive. A Syntropic Enterprise is a living system.

Emergence strategy is lived daily.

The practice by everyone is to evolve individually and collectively as we bring the idea to achieve our purpose to life.

There are no exceptions to ‘everyone.’ Applying and living the agreements in the Trust Manifesto and Synergetic Audit is a daily activity.

When we work together this way, flow and synergistic states are regular occurrences. If they are not, we know that something about either the structural design or the applied practice needs adjustment.

What does this mean?

In all my conversations, I have reached this conclusion about people, partnerships and teams.

  • All people have worth and value.
  • Most people want to find a context to express their work and value in a way that contributes to something greater than themselves.
  • Most people do not have the skills to create ecologies where this happens.
  • We all need to be held to account. Indeed, when it matters to us, we want to be held accountable.
  • We all make mistakes.
  • We want to feel we matter. We are significant.
  • When we have the right context and ecology for us, we can be brilliant.
  • Synergy is the greatest exponential technology available – humans working together synergistically.
  • If we do not have the right ecology or structure, most teams and partnerships will disintegrate into messy human heaps.

Building a Syntropic Enterprise, using the ingredients mentioned in this article and others, creates ecologies of synergy.

We get to be brilliant, doing work that matters for a world with a future.

These ingredients and more are covered in the Syntropic Enterprise Masterclass beginning this week.

Do consider joining us.