July 1 will mark 6 months of Creating the Future’s experiment with openly inviting participation in all our work – from board meetings to resource development and branding meetings, to conversations with funders and everything in between.
Which means it is time to step back and assess: What are we all learning from this effort? What are the conditions that lead to success? How are we even defining success?
Personally, I’m learning a ton from every meeting where others are exploring along with us.
I’m learning that there is SO much wisdom to be tapped, and that no matter how many people are in a meeting, there is always such great input that is just a click away. Our work this past 6 months has been SO greatly enhanced by input from people sharing online during these meetings.
I’m learning that most of the reasons we give for being “closed” vs open and participatory has to do with our own fears, many of which are rooted in current systems that reinforce what’s scary. (Just noticing how much the word “scary” and “scarcity” look alike – hmmm.) And that if we change the systems and approaches and practices we use, that open participation becomes joyful and possible – it takes the fear away.
And I’m learning that once people participate, they get more involved. And isn’t that what we all want – people more involved not just in “our” work as organizations, but in their communities overall?
That’s my short list, but this post is about YOU.
• What have you learned from watching and/or participating in our working and engaging openly?
• What has stood out for you? What have you noticed?
• What has surprised you?
• What has resonated? What excites you about this? (And perhaps even what has felt scary as you have watched or participated in these conversations? Or maybe even what did you think might be scary that wasn’t?)
• And most especially, have you changed any of your own thinking (or your own actions) based on what you have seen in this living laboratory?
In the next few months, our board will spend its meeting reflecting on these very questions. We will consider what we want this way of being to accomplish – for our org and for others who may learn with us and from us. We will consider what conditions are conducive to creating that success, in part by deconstructing what has worked vs not worked so well.
A large part of that discussion will be based on YOUR thoughts. So please, share liberally!