Posted by & filed under Continuing Conversations.

This post is “for me” – but shared openly. This means I won’t be explaining things as I go along, because I already know the background.

One role is already fixed

In 2015 I defined seven roles for myself. This year I’m experimenting with four. I’m keeping the “care-giver” role with its purpose to support and nurture people who are close to me in some way (including myself) so we can flourish, and also to steward places we share (especially my home).

“Care-giver” a catch-all role that covers my personal-and-private life and also spills over into my Working-and-public life.

That leaves three more to define – all of them related to what I work on and share publicly

The old roles

There was a kind of hierachy in the previous seven roles. “Caregiver” was the most practical. “Explorer and pioneer in the landscape of change” was the most abstract. Other roles were “Holacracy launcher”,”Innovative systems builder”, Connector-communicator” (a friend added “boundary-spanning” there), “Pattern hunter” (the friend added “sense maker”) and”Teacher/learner and knowledge co-creator”

If I’m to rearrange them into three roles then it feels right to start off by separating the abstract and the practical into two separate roles and then have one to spare.

Defining roles – role 1 – compulsive collaborator?

At this point in defining roles for a Holacracy of One the strategy is to have a little conversation with yourself. Last time I tried  approach of “acting it out”. This time I’ll do a mix of talking and typing my way through it. So it’s a conversation between my Whole Self (WS) and the individual roles. The strategy is that WS calls the roles in in turn, and interviews them.

So – first role please. Come on in Role 1 (R1).

WS – Introduce yourself. What shall I call you?

R1 – For now call me Compulsive Collaborator

WS – What do you do?

R1 – I do things with other people?

WS – Why?

R1 – Lots of reasons.

There are all kinds of energy-giving and “accelerator” reasons related to working with others. Plus the benefits of team work and not needing to do everything yourself – different people having different strengths. All the Belbin Team roles stuff.

And there is so much to be done.

Besides, lots of the things I want to do and help with won’t be finished in my lifetime – but if other, younger, people are working on them, and new people are being attracted to the ongoing work, and I am simply playing a part it won’t matter that the whole thing won’t be finished in my life time.

And collaborating with others is good for my “social vitamins” count  – online calls and face-to-face meetings balance all the work I do in isolation at my screen.

WS – Okay . I like what I hear so far. What kind of collaborations do you have in mind?

R1 – Well. I guess there are three main kinds

  1. Things other people have dreamt up/started and I can help them.
  2. Things I’ve dreamt up/started and need help with
  3. Things that are yet to be started but could well emerge when “we” – whoever that means – start to explore ideas and vision and consider collaborating to enable it to happen

WS – Okay. I’m interested. And I recognise a lot of overlap with things I value in the previous/present roles in my life

I need to know what help you’d need from me if I give you a place in my future life. I like the idea of going forward with you but will you be too demanding? Can we get along well together?

Why don’t you go and make a list of the collaborations you are currently involved in, and what you want to do, and we can consider what I can realistically support.

Meanwhile I’ll go for a cuppa, and then I’ll call in the next role.