By Tina Gattermann for Enlivening Edge Magazine
No doubt the step to next stage organization such as Teal is an enormous breakthrough and as all changes, even if done consciously and step by step, it reminds us sometimes of an earthquake.
All well-known structures are falling apart; all that seemed to be stable is questioned from the start of that process. On the other hand, these changes need to have the force to break down old routines, thoughts, and beliefs. And they need to go deep to really make a difference and not let our well-known thinking come through and establish similar routines in a new outlook.
So what can be done to support this process? What does really need to be changed and what are the underlying energies? These are the question the team of Element Business Academy tried to find answers to!
In this article, I would like to introduce to you part of our work with the energy fields, a wisdom that is universal and can be found in many traditions as well as cultures. Basically it is a wisdom that says in fact everything is energy; all the material world is actually pure energy in different frequencies and densities. I am sure most of you have heard this before and would agree to this. But what does it really mean?
For me this question was the call to understand in great detail what energies are we are made of. How can we experience them, and what does this mean for our inner and outer world?
This is not the place to give a complete overview of the whole knowledge, but let us take one part out and see what we can learn from it.
As stated above, a major change in an organization or company shocks the whole system and its structures deeply. Even if the change is needed, these structures have also been an answer to earlier questions in a time the people were longing for more stability and more predictability because they experienced times with high insecurity and poverty. Our present organizational structures are answers to the social and political needs of earlier decades.
So yes, nowadays we face expanding consciousness, yet a closer look asks: “This earlier need, or underlying urge for safety and security–isn’t that an urge we still have today, even in our new contexts? Don’t we still have to find answers for this basic need?”
Answers to these questions are very individual, and people resonate in very different ways to them, but any organization or structure of the next stage must find answers to honour and value this basic need.
In the wisdom-tradition focused on “energy fields,” the urge for safety and security is part of the energy field “Earth.” In total we talk about FIVE ENERGY FIELDS: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space.
Earth is understood as the field in which qualities such as support, trust, compassion, nurturing, giving, and non-judging of others and ourselves arises.
Those qualities show up on the individual level, in our attitudes toward our own self, but also on the level of relationship between people, groups, and teams, and within organizations.
Within an organization, all the new structures and routines that evolve to balance and integrate these qualities relate to the “Earth” energy field.
I would like to give an example that shows how new ideas supportive of change can be developed by working with the energy fields – in this case, Earth.
Imagine that the need for change within a company or organization has brought in a lot of inspiring, and destroying “Fire” element energy. Transformation starts. The Earth-related aspects with all their structures, start to break down. New structures are in a co-creative and collaborative process which takes time. The more you become unattached to the process, the more it can evolve as “trusting the process,” meaning the more you can practice non-attachment even while being highly involved, the more the process can become a playful and joyful experience.
To strengthen this process, and to make the people involved even more open and successful, it is good to support them by developing and honouring their Earth-related need for safety and security. The organization should be generous/giving to them, to establish safety.
A lot of ideas can come out of the awareness of the need for such support. As one example of an idea, we have invented the “win-win-cycle”.
It is obvious that the movement towards next stage organizations, such as Teal, will create a massive change, but will also create challenges. Let’s look at a challenge around demographics.
I put an eye on this challenge because many people feel unsafe and insecure about facing demographic changes.
The wish and steps for self management and wholeness also includes organizational responsibility to take some care around people’s thoughts, fears, and emotions related to safety and insecurity. This is especially so because many new organizational structures show more open forms, such as more project work, more freelancers, more home work, less fixed contracts, more flexibility and openness—all very interesting and good opportunities lie within them, no doubt.
But now ask yourself: How can an organization take care and be giving to all people involved even in less fixed long-term structures?
Here the “win- win cycle” might be one solution around the demographic of financial support for people.
Nearly all teams or companies, no matter which form they have, generate a certain income for operating, based on, for example, classic sales, service, membership fees, or even donation.
As was done in earlier traditions, an organization can take 10% of its income/revenue and put that aside, from any income it has. To start a “win-win-cycle” it can do this for three years. The sum grows all the time, in proportion to 10% of ongoing income.
All people would get a specific support from this fund after being in the organization for minimum three years. The organization wins, because people stay longer-committed to the organization, which gives the needed time for new structures and changes. For example, it is said that to really evolve the system of Holacracy® in a company might take about 4 – 5 years, of course depending on the size. But any new development needs time to for people to practice and get experience. The “win” to increase the commitment from the people involved can be a great support for change.
Demographic workforce changes will always result in people of different ages within an organization, and different ages do have different needs. Young people might be more interested in using their support money for participating in seminars and retreats or in taking some time off to travel, or to take their next steps in education. Others might be interested in building something on their own and could be partners to collaborate. Elders might have questions around taking care for the future via healthcare and pension. The areas that are set up in the cycle can vary from organization to organization. The areas are decided on in the first three years of the plan in an internal co-creative process.
The picture illustrates how the “win-win-cycle” might look:
Sometimes we add two smaller cycles for ´emergency support` and ´support as loan`.
So after three years being in the organization one can choose support in such areas as education, health or pensions; this can be either by coaching, by real money, by insurances, whatever is in the cycle. Such a support is always individual, and conveys respect, esteem, and honouring by the company.
What I would like to emphasize is that it is not important how the plan is set up in detail; it is important that the cycle was invented to honour our basic need for security and safety, which we all have to a certain extent, and that this can be one way for an organization to be giving and supportive in next stages as a practical support of the change process.
Taking care of the energy field Earth within the organization in ways like this creates trust, support, and value.
There is a saying “Change happens within relaxation”. As soon as we feel accepted and safe, we open up, and this is needed for all next stages!
So taking care to include and balance the Fire energy of organizational change with Earth energy of support and safety, in whatever ways, greatly facilitates transformation to the next stage for organizations.
If you have made similar experiences or also have invented some kind of support, I would be very pleased if you could share it with us as part of a co-creating learning process!