My reflections from the grow2glow U journey
Experiencing today’s U journey with Grow2glow network, I felt a strong sense of connection with the spirit of potential, and the power of holding space for the unknown.
When I was organising this workshop, I immediately thought of Sarah and Ali -2 experienced systematic constellation and U facilitators. Their embodiment of presencing and generative conversation style is indeed contagious. Holding the space in uncomfortable situations can be really challenging. Yet, I’ve witnessed again and again, that if we want to unleash the potential of individuals and groups, we need to develop the muscle of navigating in the unknown.
Businesses and society today are facing exponentially increasing changes. New technology, new ways of working, new social and economical as well as ecological challenges. It is becoming a norm that in leadership conferences, words like change, future of work, transformation become buzzwords.
So in such a VUCA world, how do we navigate?
My experiences showed me: space is so important and holding space for the unknown is also extremely precious. As Ali said, we’re trained and are used to problem solving. However, the tendency of going to the solution space is limiting creative possibilities.
Our brain, especially the limbic system, loves certainty. The solution space will give us some sort of certainty, may or may not be the best potential outcomes, but when we’re in the space of unknown, we tend to go back to our comfort zone, which can be solution focused.
Our U journey this time, is providing a precious space for us to get used to the muscles of the unknown.
We started with some embodied exercises to switch us off from the head. All felt natural until we were asked to group ourselves in men and women. For me it felt already like we’re sensitive about the topic. Then in the inquiry phase, some themes popped up. There seems to be a split of many fronts. The spirit and freedom of self-organisation vs. the engineering tayloristc ground we’re on. The passion of bringing out potential vs. the constraints of resources. The wholeheartedness when in the group, vs. the resistance in our “day job”. And also the topic we’ve discussed over and over, do we only focus on supporting women?
When we were in the bottom of the U, that feeling was triggering. For me, to embody wholeheartedness, I feel uncomfortable if we have a fundamental divide of only coaching women. And I cannot claim I’m whole if I’m only focusing on one part of the whole. I wonder if this fundamental divide actually triggers other divides in us. That we conform to the norm, the culture of the status quo, which is more divide than being whole.
Although my personal interest in this exercise was different (namely how can I keep the spirit of g2g while my personal path will be different), I was still fascinated where the direction went. We did a constellation work of grow2glow and its larger environment. Also having an embodiment of the potential of grow2glow, its spirit and this fundamental question of divide. The constellation was really interesting. Giving us a glimpse of what the larger organisation is operating under and what potential grow2glow could bring, if there is no draining and constraints. The complexity of the system. And how fragile we are in such a large looming command and control environment.
At the same time, I have to say, we ARE part of that large and looming environment. We form the culture of our surroundings. And if we see our real passion as separate from our work, we don’t have the wholeness that we’re preaching. Often times, it is turning the lenses inwards, that can be most revealing. As Otto Scharmer said in theory U. The consciousness of the intervener determines the outcome of the intervention. To live the change we want to see, we need to personally embody the way of life we want to see.
My intuitive feeling is, we’re at the crossroad of an evolutionary purpose and we’re not ready yet. I had the same intuition last year and started to move pieces of the system by bringing awareness and practices of self-organisation. I would say we’re definitely more open and doing more experiments. I felt the whole energy of the room as deeply inward connected and at the same time very open and hopeful.
Looking back on the journey of grow2glow, we need to be proud that we have built a self-renewing network from personal passion and practical execution. We embody the human centered spirit, and the practical execution power of a large “orange” engineering, achieving organization. We maintain our self-reflection while being open to emerging possibilities. The experience today just reinforced my appreciation for so many great spirits who form grow2glow, the precious pioneer standing out on the tayloristc ground.