Community of Practitioners: Conditions for Success (Meeting #2)

Community (w text)Three months ago, Creating the Future started an online community for practicing Catalytic Thinking. Since that time, the facilitators of that group have been talking about the potential this community has for furthering Creating the Future’s mission – a whole community of people bringing out the best in themselves and each other. 

In our first conversation, we discussed what this community has the potential to make possible for its participants (current and future participants), for the facilitators, for Creating the Future’s mission, and for the ripples of people whose lives will be touched by all those individuals.

The outcomes we discussed broke into 3 major themes, with “stories” being a major component of each of them:

– People will have opportunities to learn, experiment and practice.
– People will feel a sense of connection to each other
– People will be exposed to and learn to develop systems that bring out the best in people

In this second meeting, we explored the cause-and-effect conditions that would create the first item on that list – learning, experimenting and practice. What would need to be in place for people to learn in this community?

Primary Conditions for Learning, Experimenting and Practicing Catalytic Thinking:
Looking at the first item on the list of results we hope to achieve through this community, we focused first on the fact that people will have the opportunity to learn and practice together.

To begin creating the chain of events that will lead to them learning, we asked about what needs to be in place prior to that result being reality.

In order to learn, experiment and practice, what would participants need to feel? What would they need to have? What would they need to know? Believe? Experience? What would they need to be assured of?

In order to learn, experiment and practice in this community, participants would need to FEEL…

– Safe
     – place of no judgement
     – acceptance
     – encouragemernt
          – yes, and

– Curious
     – about stories of success
          – people would be telling stories
     – about Catalytic Thinking

– Connected to a global community committed to making the world a better place (world = my family, my neighborhood, my world)
     – Celebrating each of those places
     – Being together will help us make the world better

– Believe / feel: There is something in it for me
     – Something in it for people at every stage along the Continuum of Potential
     – People can expect to find what they are seeking
          – Ask repeatedly
          – systems that help meet people’s expectations
          – explicit about the WHY of the group
          – we can outline the possibilities
                – have a conversation with them and ASK!
     – What the WIIFM makes possible is eagerness / openness to learn / experiment / practice

In order to learn, experiment and practice in this community, participants would need to HAVE…

– Intentionality / Purpose
     – desire to be part of the group
     – desire to be participating in the collective outcome
          – in whatever way feels right to them

– Map of who is where

– Clarity
     – this is a place of learning
     – what does that mean
     – what is expected of me?
     – formal opportunities to learn and be together and hear stories outside of FB
          – in person
          – in video
          – in classes
     – clarity
          – about what they’re trying to accomplish
          – About what’s acceptable – group norms and agreements

– Have something they want to play with
     – come to the table with curiosity, eagerness
     – dash of emotional vulnerability

In order to learn, experiment and practice in this community, participants would need to EXPERIENCE… 
– Experience the power of unexpected / unanticipated positive outcomes

– deliberate choice of language

– Hearing the content of the learning
     – in different voices
     – in different modes

– wonderful first experience

– response the first time they share

Pre-conditions to those Pre-conditions
Going back up to the first set of conditions – the ways people would need to feel in order to learn and experiment in this community – there are conditions that would lead to those feelings. Before participants can feel safe, curious, connected, open and eager to learn, what must be in place?

The same questions we just asked about the ultimate end result will apply to creating the chain of causality towards the pre-conditions to that result.

In order to feel safe, curious, connected and open to learn, what would people need to HAVE?

– A welcoming environment, nurturing of all types of learners / all the ways people experience life
     – Lunch buddies – guides, Sherpas, companions
     – Important communications happen on multiple platforms
– brings people along, even if they didn’t read the email or blog post

– Explicit context as to WHAT they will experience, and WHY that is important

– Language that resonates

In order to feel safe, curious, connected and open to learn, what would people need to KNOW?

– If we’re always creating context, what context are we creating?
     – WHY
     – Feel
     – Language you’ll hear
     – norms

Time was up way too quickly as we dove deep into the conditions that would need to be met, in order for our goals to be realized. In Meeting #3, we will take up with these conditions questions, beginning with this one: What does it take to meet people where they are?

As we closed Meeting #2, we reflected upon…

– The importance of always creating context
– The role of the person holding space for the big picture
– Honoring all the wisdom that came forward – co-creation of this community

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 8th for 2 hours:
12noon – 2pm Pacific time
3pm-5pm Eastern time

If you’d like to join the community we’ve been talking about in this post, click here and join the conversation!

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