Emergence of a new world 2nd part - Shared Governance
“University of the We” and “Shared Governance”
Have you ever dreamed of working at a place where instead of a heavy and sometimes oppressive pyramidal hierarchy, a community of motivated and enthusiastic people would work together, allowing the talents, creativity, ideas and potential of each to blossom for the benefit of all ?
Maybe you had the dream and forgot about it because it appeared like utopia...??
Well... I have a good news for you : Utopia has become REAL !
As if our youthful dreams would merge into the fast coming future which runs faster than light!
I am talking about Shared Governance!
I want to share again some more jewels about this subject which is indeed spiritual in nature...
1- Practice of the Circle and Collective Intelligence;
I just finished a “MOOC” * about Shared Governance, offered by the “University of the We”: a very weird university who shares a global teaching with different levels (theory, practice, arts, movement, senses...) aiming at unfolding a new “Doing Together” – “Deciding Together” – “Living Together”.
The ideas and tools they bring are simply amazing and if they indeed allow to think that future societies might be much more human and sensitive than the ones of today, these practices are also very much spiritual in nature because based on the “Practice of the Circle” and “Collective Intelligence”;
* MOOC = Massive Open Online Course
All the meetings will take place in a Circle shape, where each and every participant has the same level of participation: power, presence, speech, listening, giving... all persons have the same rights, possibilities and “respons – abilities” as well as responsibilities!
The Circle thus creates in the participants a feeling of being equal to each other and brings a sensation of trust and security; furthermore, the Circle is a means to create Collective Intelligence and in that, can definitely be called a collective meditation practice:
So how a Circle practice does happen? It can have different stages according to its intention and the group’s preferences and but generally those steps are present:
-- A meeting is triggered by some group member, with some Intention.
-- The participants meet and sit in the Circle.
-- The facilitator recalls the Intention of the meeting and thanks everyone for being here;
-- Then, each person is invited to “empty” his/ her emotional or mental preoccupations in one or two sentences, so as to feel ready for the meeting; there is no comment from anyone;
-- Then the facilitator (who can be any of the participants) leads a small centering time, grounding time: it can be like chanting om, or being silent, or feeling the breath, or whatever the group has chosen;
-- Then different stages occur, according the meeting’s Intention;
-- There might be decision making / problem solving etc.
-- At the end always a Celebration takes place, to unite all members in the Joy of having received appropriate solutions for the topics.
The interesting thing is that in the Circle, one is most of the time Listening; one listen much more than one talks;
Listening to what ? To the Circle!
Each speaker offers his: her ideas and feelings to the Center of the Circle;
Each speaker speaks from his:her heart to the Circle’s center;
And after some time, one might be able to harness Circle’s answers through Intuition.
That is how “Collective Intelligence” is created;
By offering from our Heart center, our ideas, problems, questions, suggestions to the Circle’s Center, after some time the Circle answers and give the best solution to our problems, the best answer to our questions;
Synergy where 1+1 is not merely 2 but can be 3 or 5 or even More !
2 - Management in the Present Moment:
Just like during an individual meditation practice, the Circle actually connects the participants in the Present Moment, to the Universe’s Intelligence; hence allows to receive the most appropriate responses for the group in the Here and Now;
Thanks to the Practice of Circle, an organization might be managed in the Present Moment, Here and Now;
The need of projecting on improbable events, planning expectations onto the unknown future becomes useless;
Tremendous amount of time and energy is saved; the group becomes flexible, adaptable, responsible and efficient.
3 - Living Organization and Reason for being:
The base of Shared Governance is maybe found in this idea according to which a project held by a group or person, would not “belong” to the group or person; rather the project would exist by itself in the Ether, Akash, somewhere, waiting to become manifested through human beings.
As some of you know, the Yunus Emre farm came exactly like that! During a tremendous storm in Antalya, a golden message lit in the dark clouds : “You have to create a place for Nature”.
That’s also why I never really found that the farm is “mine”... no! The farm is the farm. I am the guardian trying to follow the message and protect Nature.
Having said that, it becomes obvious that creation, management and evolution of such a “living organization” has to use different tools than the ones we know.
4 - Decision taking:
The present societies show most of the time pyramidal organizations where one boss sits on the top, having all responsibilities and taking all decisions; We know how limited it can be, both for the group and for the boss: tensions and problems arise at all levels;
As an alternative, many organizations have tend to choose the common decision making “Consensus” where most of the participant must agree to adopt a proposition. It may at first appear pleasant and fair, yet the root, the origin of such a concept is exactly the same as the first one:
In the first case: the boss is decision taker = individual autocracy;
In the second case: the group is decision taker = group autocracy;
No other option, no flexibility = hence, problems tensions conflicts...
The suggestion offered by the University of the We is the following:
Instead of taking decisions through One pole only, let’s imagine Three:
First pole: The whole circle decides
Second pole: One person takes decisions
Third pole: No decision is taken;
**The whole circle decides Who Decides What;**
**The individual group members take decisions without having to refer
to the circle, because they are appointed for their task**
**No decision is taken when decision is not necessary**
The Art of Deciding emerging from this philosophy is the result of a Dance (!) between the three poles of Decision taking;
The group gains in speed, agility and even pleasure in taking decisions together or not taking decision; The group becomes more Mature;
Decisions are taken on the base of actual needs felt Here and Now, which emerge during the organization’s life with regard to its actual activity; Hence decisions are not based on imaginary scenarios or fantasies...
The option of not taking decision when it is not necessary is always here.
Trust is becoming stronger after each circle and each decision (taken or not taken) because everyone see that... it works !
Well it is rather difficult to explain such a dynamic way of managing a Decision making process without experiencing it, but I hope you will get at least an idea!....
It looks to me as an answer to what I was waiting for the farm;
It made me understand that in front of others, I may have appeared as the farm’s boss, but it has never been my “cup of tea” or my vocation.
Rather, I will love being a team member and practice the Shared Governance with the team so that the Universe guides the farm through us...