As part of the "Lead and organize in the 21st century" series of workshops @Knowmads Business School in Amsterdam, James and I facilitated a 2 day introduction to Sociocracy 3.0 for 12 people, most of who were Knowmad students from different tribes.
The last months we've designed and piloted 7 day and 4 day workshops on this topic and thus had time to dive deeper into the different aspects of S3. Reducing it down to two days was an invitation for us to reflect on the key elements that are essential for understanding and applying the basic S3 patterns.
Also, in the context of the overall driver for the workshop series, it was relevant to bring in some of the unique contributions that S3 has to offer on the topic of scaling organisations without losing soul - backbone and fractal organizational structures. As a result, we focused on sharing the knowledge and experience of formulating drivers, practising consent decision making, proposal forming and elections and finishing up with patterns for optimizing flow on information in organisations.
Being in a 'school' environment brought a different flavour to the one I'm used to. Taking a look at the driver that participants identified: "The current system is chaotic and inequal, with unused collective wisdom and collaboration, we feel the need to educate ourselves in order to understand and improve it", the 'student' perspective is much more future than present-oriented, referring to a need to understand where we are and know where we're going. From my perspective, is not only refering to 'the system', but also (or mainly) to the inner system. As human beings and especially as students, one of the the greatest challenges can be to discover our place in the world, show up with all our selves and bring forth our unique contributions.
Being in the Knowmadic environment for these days brought me back to my student years, where often during my learning process I would wonder if and when I would apply all the knowledge I was exposed to.
In the same time, the Knowmadic structure (or lack of?) is inviting students to create their own experience and learning environment. I saw sparkling eyes when they realised the topics we were addressing were relevant to their context.
The air was filled with inner and outer inquiry.. How would it look to apply some of the S3 patterns in Knowmads School? What about people that know little about what S3 is and have resistance due to preconceptions and false assumptions? How to create a culture where people are accountable and follow up on their commitments? How do you explain to people in power positions the benefits of distributing leadership? These were some of the questions that filled the room, raised spirits and swirled minds during these days.
S3 invites people to look at their deeper motivation to act, considering the current reality and the needs they want to flow value towards. I am amazed, every time, to see how much energy is released through clarifying personal and organisational Driver's. It's a good reminder, whilst striving for more effectiveness and happiness in our working environments, to look in our own backyard and discover what brings us joy, generates lasting enthusiasm and drives us to wake up every morning and face life, as challenging as it may seem at times.