6 years ago when we held Big Blue Sky – the local event that was the founding seed of what has become Syntropic World, we had our team meetings each week at a round table situated 10 stories up with ocean views.
This team of volunteers met each other for the first time 6 months out from the Big Blue Sky event, which took place November 5th, 2015. (Remember remember the 5th of November!)
Anyone could join the team as long as they agreed to the Trust Manifesto of Big Blue Sky and completed the Synergistic Audit. These two tools are foundational to enabling an enterprise architecture that creates ecologies of synergy – where collectively we are far greater than we are individually.
This amazing team of incredibly diverse individuals, none with event experience, all said yes to the threshold crossing conditions of the Synergistic Audit and Trust Manifesto, with zero context of these tools. They wanted to be part of the creation of this event and were willing to do the heavy lifting to get on board.
Too often we make the threshold crossing too easy. Initiation rites in indigenous communities are challenges. On one side of the threshold crossing we have a child, and on the other, an adult in potentia.
If we dignify people by giving them true sovereign choice about how they spend their time, we might also make the act of becoming part of a team an effort worthy of investment.
High performing teams know this. To get on the team is a challenge. Many want it, few put in the work.
We so often defer to the ‘being nice’, making it easy, inviting everyone – without any serious threshold crossing and choice making experience.
If we do not have a rigorous threshold crossing experience, on the other side of the threshold lies all the unspoken expectations, the differing values, the egoic wants and needs unexpressed or named.
And in this place – what I call the messy human heap – we so often find ourselves investing our time and energy, rather than focusing on the thing we gathered together to bring to life in the first place.
Here we were, every Wednesday for three hours around a table. There was a clear intention – to co-create this event – but each week it was a free-for-all conversation.
Anyone from corporate training would observe this meeting as pure chaos. No agenda, little structure. Zero linearity.
Rather than a monologue, it was a mutilogue. Voices, all speaking to the same intention, coming from 12 different places.
It was gorgeous. Wildly creative. Incredibly inclusive. Deeply edifying.
Our addiction to linearity is in defiance of most anything in nature.
While at the meta-level nature has intention, often completely unknown to humans, at the micro level it is not a straight line, but one step at a time. Emergent.
With each step we take, all of us, billions of steps, billions of breaths, the field is changed ever so slightly.
How can we be so sure, so defiant, that we know the third or fourth step? That we have the sequence down?
Surely this quest for linearity and order is another form of domination over…over the other, over nature…over our own being?
As a skilled facilitator, I have always abhorred ridged structure. (And yes there are times for it. Big Blue Sky had a run sheet. People knew what was happening next. And there were whole segments that were unstructured and free flowing. )
I get super clear on what the person hiring my facilitation skills seeks from the experience, how they will know it has been a success immediately and sometime later, and then I add the biological support pieces. Start and finish times, breaks and meals. And that is the end of my structuring.
From there I hold the intention as my arrow of guidance and dance with the emergent, knowing in my quiver I have so many tools to access for almost any circumstance.
In facilitating this way I have found without exception I invite synchronicities, magic and miracles. The people I am working with inform what needs to happen next, by their actions and non-actions.
This is what happened around that table at Big Blue Sky. Team members knew they had the opportunity to bring their whole selves to the conversation. They were fully seen and heard. If their ideas and suggestions were aligned and coherent with the Pattern Integrity of Big Blue Sky’s intention, then we would proceed.
In this way I experienced the most powerful of all human capacities. Humans working together synergistically – where the amplification of each other creates something far greater than could ever have been predicted or expected.
Brilliance. Creativity. Love. Generosity.
How magnificently humans will show up if we give them context to do so in a dignified and respectful way.
In my work I see and know so many people who are invited to their work as half people. Quarter people. Siloed into segments…this is what the job description is. Do that. We do not know, and often do not care, what other skills or brilliance you have to offer.
Or people who are exploited. Numbers on a speed sheet. Voters to be seduced. Great work swallowed into the machine of greed and scarcity. Scraped out and colonised.
Wealth extracted off the backs of labour.
The hard truth is all of us…if we are settlers in a colony, even going back generations..have our privileged life scraped off the backs of others.
Scraped off the back of our precious home planet. The endless resource who is ending her generosity for humans if we persist in this disgraceful exploitation.
Linearity and order is a tool. Like any tool, if we become addicted to its use, the tools own us.
To be able to dance with emergence, to be able to hold the shape for creativity, elegance in chaos, beauty in the wilds, is to steward a living breathing enterprise. We call this a Syntropic Enterprise.
Not some dead static thing. Some shell for keeping humans earning a living for a purpose they may of not care about.
Rather an enterprise that is alive in its own right. Held in the field of warm data by people who care about each other and the work they are doing.
Where we are invited to choose how we play, or leave, given sovereign choice. Where if we choose, we get to show up in our wholeness, held to our higher better selves, seen for what we bring in our wholeness, where the path is not linear, but emergent. Often surprising. Regularly delightful. Sometimes very challenging.
This type of work, this way of being able to contribute your value, is rare in most businesses.
And in its rarity cuts off the circulation and possibility of synergy.
Everyone misses out when we do that.
For a world with a future for earth and all her creatures, we need to create Syntropic Enterprises.
Humans, better together, towards a more beautiful world that we know is possible.