By Will Van Inwagen (1) for Enlivening Edge Magazine
Several years ago I was wandering around a dark and dreary cave of work life and getting increasingly discontent. Then, ever so subtly, I detected a breeze of fresh air and saw a glimmer of light in the distance: new ways of work were possible. I set off on a quest to explore them, with just hints and suggestions to guide me.
A video there, an article here, a friend mentioning something, and little by little the scent became stronger. Then JACKPOT! I was wandering in a bookstore and came upon a book: Reinventing Organizations. I felt I had struck gold (or a feast)! After devouring the book, I was left satiated for a while.
I got giddy with the new sense of personal empowerment I discovered is possible in work environments. I had never felt so much freedom in my decades of working life. I had an overwhelming urge to share this. I went around trying to wake up others in my teams and my workplace to the tantalizing aroma of freedom, self-empowerment and opportunities from this new way of looking at work.
Then a terrible loneliness crept in. “I don’t have anyone I can talk to about the ideas in this book. They are fantastic yet they seem like a fantasy.”
Then another miracle! A friend told me about an online magazine called Enlivening Edge. Wow! I struck gold again. Like the book Reinventing Organizations, I inhaled the contents deeply, like smelling a bouquet of freshcut flowers.
But then “Oh no! Here I go again; this is great, and I have only one friend to talk about it with.” Thankfully, I found a way to subscribe for notifications of Enlivening Edge’s Community Conversations. YES! I scored again!! Oh joy! Feels like coming home. I belong here with others who love to talk about this ‘Teal’ stuff–best of all, others who are actually involved in self-managed organizations.
I am communicating with and learning about and from others around the world, how cool! The space feels so safe, and I’ve made deeply meaningful connections with others so quickly and easily. Five of us have even already started a sharing/support group beyond the conversations.
I feel immense gratitude to Enlivening Edge for providing space for folks like us to discover each other. From my perspective the Partners in EE are heroes: none of them are paid for doing all of these amazing things for the world of next stage organizations. Their dedication carries them along, organizing these conversations, publishing all of these amazing articles, and doing myriad other things.
When I realized my appreciation, I started to think about volunteering to help, looking around to see where I can share my gifts within EE, or even getting out my debit card, or any of the simple things I could do to help bring the glimmer of freedom closer to everyone.
Helping out would bring me an even stronger aroma of self-empowerment. I can share how appreciative and grateful I am to be part of something greater and grander than I could have ever imagined when I found that impactful book: the larger-scale evolution of reinventing organizations.
In my experience, Enlivening Edge—with its offerings of the Magazine, the Community Conversations, the Facebook group, and the Calendar of Events—is like a visitor center: a place that discontented people, like I was, come to find out more, and connect with like-minded, like-hearted others co-creating and co-evolving the next stage of consciousness in the world of work.
I realized EE is wanting to synergize with us. The visitor center wants more co-creators. It also seeks more places for the newly-connected people to communicate further and forge their collaborative projects.
I now ask you! What gift(s) would you love to contribute? How can you step forth in this movement on a larger scale than you currently are? Do you have something to contribute that would benefit you, EE and the potential ecosystem we all could be?
When you finish reading, please take action, no matter how small or large. Feel into my suggestions and respond as you feel inspired to show your appreciation and to feel empowered on the larger scale.
(1) I, Will, am writing this from the viewpoint of being a reader of EE Magazine and participant in EE’s Community Conversations, rather than from being the joyful EE Partner that I am. That’s just how this inspired writing “came to me.”