Trip to New Zealand Blog 3
In the Open Space time during the Summerfest, I ended up being in Susan Basterfield’s session — announced as a new plan for a Communication strategy (for Enspiral). It was more a session to bring clarity in Susan’s thinking and sensing about the Enspiral network.
I learned that Enspiral has a Foundation (legally set up as a business), with a board and working groups, and is formed by its 30 members — who have no financial advantage from being a member. They basically take care of the network itself, and make it work.
After these seven years of working Enspiral created quite an attraction in the world and to me it seems, that the network in now in the phase to create another level of clarity — of what it is about, about what is essential in its structure and what not. Enspiral has been through a phase of a kind of success, where a lot of people around the world found inspiration in its new ways of working and giving hope that things in working life can be different; and they wanted to belong. This resulted in a huge number of what is called collaborators or contributors — people with less engagement than the members — but wanting to be part of the network. This brought some kind of burden on the members, as they wanted to engage with or onboard all these people… which was kind of too hard.
I heard Rich saying “Enspiral is not a thing”. I understood it as: You cannot ‘belong’ to the wider Enspiral network if you are not a member or are engaged with one of its ventures or one of the working groups. The way ‘in’ is through collaborative work done together. Enspiral is not a big open space where you can find satisfaction for your need of belonging; in that way he called it ‘the big void’. The belonging is only created by working together on real stuff.
In business terms, Enspiral is a brand — but its name is also referring to all the other perspectives that I am naming here.
Next to what Rich said, I want to say that Enspiral is also a network that actually exists. In this regard, it is some ‘thing’. I am sure that the network, through all its iterations, has learned quite a lot about the power of networks, the essentials of it, the emergent strategy that has unfolded and so much more. My guess is that the network hasn’t done enough of retrospectives on this specific topic (looking back and reflecting to capture the learning) and hasn’t been capturing that. That’s where ‘the book’ comes in, which was part of Susan’s clarity at the end of the session.
On another level, maybe the soul level, Enspiral is indeed not a ‘thing’, but a huge potential. The potential of the collective, of the community in relationship with doing businesses — that gives hope to the world. The book that will capture the trials, the experiments, the prototypes — call some of them failures if you like — will reveal a lot of conditions and principles related with Future of Work. I just heard it will be written!