This open letter follows your comment that “I feel like the journey unpicking our own blocks is worth taking and sharing. Following that, we can have an outward focus that might be useful to cross-boundary teams (across departments, across functions, across location).”
You and I have overlapping interests there – both on “unpicking our own blocks” and then on “applying what we learn in order to have an outward focus useful to cross boundary teams”. I understand that you were talking in the context of new ways of working. I share your interest in the world of work, and that interest includes organisational structures, paid work, and unpaid work that people are passionate about.
Like you, I favour sharing steps along the “journey”.
I’m working with a few friends on something called FASST, which is an experiment in collaboration based on the ideas of Teal organisations and Holacracy. Everyone in FASST has a different starting point. We’re bringing our own initiatives and clustering together around ways we a support each other, combined with a mixture of George Por’s “Holacracy of one” exercise, the Holacracy ideas of “tensions” (and blocks) that are caused by “roles” that are not being “energised”, and the Teal organisation ideas of flat organisational structures and people taking their own decisions.
We’re starting off by an informal exploration of our overlapping interests. We’re looking at what we can do, and are doing, alone (i.e. by “energising our own roles”), and where we’d appreciate some help from others. We’re exploring the idea that some things we want to move forward will only happen effectively through collaboration (because we need one or more additional “roles” to be “energised” by other people). We are starting with small collaborative steps together, and a shared deep interest in “process” and well as “product”. Most of the time we’re busy with our separate initiatives, but we collaborate in small ways within FASST.
Examples of our small initial collaborative roles include “listener” (person A providing person B with “someone to listen so that person B can think aloud about next steps in a particular initiative”) and “deadline marker’ (person A setting a personal deadline and person B holding person A to account).
We anticipate building an organisational culture designed for collaboration. We see it as one that will develop organically and will give freedom to people through its structures and clear accountabilities. We anticipate that people will join us in small ways at first, through minor, low-risk, short term, part-time collaborative activities. They will pick up the cultural behaviours easily because cultural behaviours are simply “the way we do things around here”. At first it will be person to person, but later it will be organisation to organisation – for a more detailed description see – FASST – Organising for Collaborative Development
I look forward to learning more about your thoughts and discovering how we might help each other in our overlapping interests.