I’m excited about the possibility of using Holacracy in Dadamac, as we transition from a network to an organisation.
Nikki Fishman and I have both been to Holacracy training days, and I went to a session last week to remind myself — Let’s get a feel for Holacracy in action — http://www.meetup.com/ResponsiveLeaders-London-Our-first-meetup/events/224761666/?a=uc1_vm&read=1&_af=event&_af_eid=224761666&https=off
There is a website for things related to Holacracy – https://medium.com/@Energized – so I posted to it to see what connections I could make. This post is based on what I put there.
Dadamac began as a small informal network and has gradually emerged into other things. The “other things” are on the verge of giving rise to a number of connected initiatives that need to be self organising, but aware of each other and supportive of each other. They will need to “have the same essential Dadamac DNA” and big vision, but as long as that is maintained they will be able to do their own thing. I see them functioning as Holacracy circles.
I’m not at all sure how this will work out but it’s the direction I want to go. I’m not at all sure how much detail I should share with you in order to make this post “real enough” to get feedback. I’ll go for a brief history with links:
Dadamac began with two people. I’m Pamela McLean — I’m the “Mac” of Dadamac. The “Dada” is John Dada, director of Fantsuam Foundation in North Central Nigeria.
- John Dada
- Videos about Fantsuam Foundation — https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=zlEBTCZ67NI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajY1fJxGH3s
I went to Fantsuam Foundation on working holidays. I was struck by the disconnect between what I learned about this corner of Nigeria in reality and what I was told about Africa on TV and Internet back home in London. I wanted to close this disconnect. I wanted other people to share in what I was learning.
In 2008 my friend Nikki Fishman started to help me to share information about Fantsuam Foundation (FF) through regular blogs on a website that we set up. She got the information through weekly online meetings with the FF team.
- Dadamac.net website — http://dadamac.net/
- Nikki’s blog — http://dadamac.net/blog/nikki
- Dadamac’s weekly UK-Nigeria meetings — http://dadamac.net/initiative/uk-nigeria-weekly-meetings
I’m interested in systemic change and systems building. I was learning things through the UK-Nigeria work that had wider significance and I wanted to bring some of those ideas into the website.
Nikki was increasingly interested in applying locally (in Croydon) some of the ideas we were developing through our UK-Nigeria work. To have these ideas, and practical work in the UK mixed up with practical work on the ground in Africa was a recipe for confusion.
Fast forward to the start of 2015. We separated the two “threads” onto two separate websites and as two separate organisations.
One is for the UK-Africa practical work with John Dada and other changemakers. The other is for connecting people, organisations and ideas locally (in UK) and online.
- UK-Africa website — http://www.dadamac.org/
- January 2015 launch event for UK-Africa work — 3 min video — http://www.dadamac.org/
- Keynote address by Professor Tim Unwin — http://www.dadamac.org/
- Follow up event this month on Monday November 9th — The Power in your Story: Storytelling and Action — http://tinyurl.com/nrm2r3y
- 90 second video about the November event — https://vimeo.com/144207503
- Dadamac Connect website — connecting people, organisations and ideas — http://dadamacconnect.london/
- Post about my role— Aha! I’m a systems builder!
For Nikki and me our theme for 2015 has been “Connect, Communicate and Collaborate” gradually we are finding our collaborators, and we are hoping to attract more at the event on November 9th. The theme of the event is how people can help changemakers to tell their stories — because the changemakers are too busy making change to tell the ongoing stories for themselves.
We plan to develop this idea of combining “making change” with “telling the stories” and providing peer-to-peer support through “Dadamac Changemakers’ Clubs”. If people like the idea then we will launch the clubs in Croydon (initially at Matthew’s Yard) and in London (initially at Impact Hub Westminster). There are other initiatives that we have ready and waiting for the right time to come and for the availability of resources.
We can see that once our number of active and involved followers increases beyond the present core group we will need to agree the organisational structures in which we work. It will help to have something ready and Holacracy could be what we need.
So, what next? It’s all a bit “chickens and eggs” at the moment — we haven’t got many people that we need to organise yet, there is just a small core group. But once we attract more followers, beyond a certain critical mass (perhaps as early as our November 9th event) we anticipate that rapid growth will follow. With growth will come the need for an appropriate organisational structure to enable whatever wants to happen that is true to our Dadamac DNA.
So that’s where we are. Ready to move forward on our Holacracy journey and appreciative of any comments, advice, mentoring, buddying, peer-to-peer support etc that others can give us.