Creating ecologies for Synergy
A Syntropic Enterprise leaves everything better. It does this by applying the Laws of Nature to human co-ordination, enterprise design, our relationship with the non-human world and structures and systems.
Synergy, a term created by Syntropic World’s mentor, R.Buckminster Fuller, means that the behaviour of the whole cannot be determined by an examination of the parts separately.
No amount of examination of a caterpillar can determine a butterfly. No amount of examination of you, and me, can determine what might be possible when we work together in a deliberately and carefully created environment that enables synergy…where the outcome of our work is far greater than if we work as separate agents.
To experience synergy, to feel the collective brilliance arising when synergy is present, is to have our minds and hearts blown.
Jaw dropping experiences where there is a collective knowing that the arising outcome required every single input from each participant, no matter the size or scale of that input. No one is better, greater or more important than the other.
Synergy is the partner pair of emergence. It is unpredictable in its shape, size, scale and possibility.
You cannot sit at the start and already know the end when we have ecologies of synergy, be that the end of a meeting, a project, or a life.
Before you seek to design ecologies for Synergy you might consider if you and your enterprise delight in operating in an emergent way, where rather than a linear plan and defined path, you invite novelty, surprise and possibility.
A Syntropic Enterprise is an emergent, living entity, adapting and changing moment to moment. Stability and certainty are present, but not in the usual ways. In a Syntropic Enterprise they can be found in the purpose, the Pattern Integrity of the Source Idea, the enterprise architecture that enables ecologies of synergy to happen in the first place. Integrity – to hold its shape – is a stabilising factor when lived in every area of the enterprise. People can trust the foundations of integrity, that the enterprise and its people live the very change they are seeking to make in the world.
But for the rest, adaptability and change are features built into the enterprise architecture. This enables the Syntropic Enterprise to be incredibly resilient, offering an extraordinary advantage in a world of accelerated acceleration.
Brilliance arises in synergistic ecologies. (Please note that you can also have ecologies of negative synergy, which inevitably tend to deteriorate into a messy human heap.)
Hiring brilliant people doesn’t guarantee synergy. Hiring homogenous skills and experience doesn’t invite synergy. The usual Human Resources team would rarely think to hire the level of diversity that enables synergy.
Many businesses and enterprises want to create ecologies for synergy. They want a team of people to explode possibility as they bring the agreed purpose to life.
But few leaders and entrepreneurs know that there are ingredients required to invite a far greater possibility for synergy to occur.
Instead they create partnerships that break down when stress, money and power hit the system. Teams that go wobbly because the foundations – the purpose, the Pattern Integrity – have not been stabilised. Disagreements about what is valued, and what is not. For example, are 100 hours of sweat and grind labour worth more than 10 hours of strategic facilitation that opens the enterprise to a global network and exponential growth? Is the emotional labour of caring for the team lesser value than sales? All of these ingredients are covered in Syntropic World’s Synergistic Audit.
I have spent the last two decades being paid to facilitate the consequences of not taking the time to get these ingredients for the relational and enterprise architecture in good shape.
The Syntropic Enterprise Masterclass teaches entrepreneurs how to create ecologies for synergy, and to prevent the potential for the experiences listed above to occur.
There is a deliberate design involved, bespoke to each enterprise, yet also having consistent features.
Like anything worth doing that we hope endures, taking the time to get the ingredients aligned at the beginning, or pausing along the way to create a robust form of it midway, is an incredibly worthy investment.
Doing this will not only enable ecologies for synergy, but it will also free up people to do the work of the purpose of the enterprise, to spend time focused on what matters and not on managing breakdowns. (Easily saving a typical enterprise up to 30% of the time spent on these things.)
Throwing people together randomly and hoping for ecologies for synergy is not a good strategy. I tried this for thirty years and had my heart broken time and again as a team of wonderful people fell into a messy human heap.
The Syntropic Enterprise Masterclass teaches entrepreneurs how to create ecologies for synergy, and to prevent the potential for the experiences listed above to occur. (Join the waitlist for the next Masterclass here.)
It was not until 2015 that I decided to create something different. To invite people who wanted to participate in the team, or create the thing, or do the job, to agree to what I called The Trust Manifesto. This is a foundational piece of a Syntropic Enterprise.
The Trust Manifesto is at minimum an agreement: People like us do things like this. When the shit hits the fan, people like us respond in these ways.
But it is more than this. It enables people to choose if they agree to how we behave and respond to each other. If they do not agree, they choose not to participate.
Within the Trust Manifesto we designed an activity that requires time and effort, stretching people a little beyond their comfort zone, yet at the same time enabling them to choose the level of their participation. We call this part of the Trust Manifesto the Synergistic Audit.
How to create an ecology for synergy:
Create an enterprise agreement that is clear and applies to everyone (Like a code of conduct but multi-faceted)
Invite sovereign choice of participation – everyone is free to agree to this or not.
Have as part of this agreement an exercise that requires some work and thoughtfulness, as well as the sharing of our humanity. Designing for human to human experience as a core focus as we work together is essential to Syntropic Enterprise.
Provide an ongoing opportunity for learning and support as we implement and live, every single day, the principles stated in the Trust Manifesto.
The entirety of this provides a threshold crossing experience, like a rite of passage. Active participants in this team, in this enterprise have all crossed this threshold, with no exceptions.
Recently asked to write about the very minimum requirements for any human to human engagement if ecologies of synergy, or simply the opportunity to work well together, was an aspiration, I created this Trust Manifesto Lite.
I would use this template for anything from two or more people coming together to create a community event, a one off experience, any loose partnership, or to explore partnering possibilities.
For anything that might have greater permanence I would apply the full Trust Manifesto adapted to suit your enterprise. You can download the Trust Manifesto here.
Trust Manifesto Lite
Note: this is a living document. It lives in application, revisiting, conversation, learning.
1. Where we are going and what is the Pattern Integrity of who we are (unambiguously named)
Our (Evolutionary) Purpose is:
We achieve this purpose by doing the following:
The Pattern Integrity of our Source Idea is as follows:
Syntropic World our Pattern Integrity includes; zero exploitation, zero colonisation, zero extraction, knowledge symmetry, integrity in everything – inside out and upside down, we are the exemplar, we partner with and apply natures laws to all things, the relationships between us matters more than most anything – we will attend to relational issues as a priority.
Naming the Pattern Integrity enables the next crucial elements of the Trust Manifesto Lite to be named.
2. What inter-relational agreements are essential?
*A commitment to clean communication. (For me this is a non-negotiable agreement in any relationship.)
*We are here to achieve the Evolutionary Purpose and to maintain the Pattern Integrity of the purpose, and to take responsibility to ensure we share the vision coherently.
*We live the change we hope to create in the future in all we do every day.
3. How do we handle relational upset and disagreement as a team?
4. How do we make decisions?
5. How do we address leadership? Who is responsible for what? When does this change?
6. How do we manage money and value? When might this change as the enterprise grows and what do we do prior to this change to reframe our agreement?
7. Do you require any common definitions to be sure there is 100% alignment of language. If so, include them here.
Discuss your relationship to money, power, equity, income, control, enough and growth. (This is an ongoing discussion, to be revisited regularly.)
The ingredients in the Trust Manifesto support the creation of an enterprise that is built for emergence, synergy and syntropy.