I had a wild brainstorm last night. I wish I could share all of it with you. I was pattern finding in history to get a sense of the convergence of shifts we are experiencing. And I was sensing that what goes beyond post-modernism, from what I can see, is a pragmatic humanism. In this, there is a search for what is useful rather than finding some grand overarching theory that explains it all and determines interpretations and meaning. Help me here if you can, the key elements I see from NLP to Integral Theory and beyond: value our nature as humans, seek fit, self-evolving collective organisms, and a search for utility – what works. (By “seek fit” I reference the misinterpretation of Darwin as survival of the fittest being the most capable and assert the other possible interpretation – that what thrives is what fits in that ecosystem.)
I have been listening to a CD on Influence, thinking about Clay Shirky and the success of tools like wikipedia in harnessing human capacity…so…
So from there I wondered, how do we unlock our collective capacity and capital (in many forms)?
a shared sense of ownership and agency
small tight feedback loops
connection and a sense of collective self
higher purpose/mission/shared values
What else or what would you include?
By shared sense of ownership and agency, I mean we as contributors need to feel we have some claim over and investment in what we are giving too as well as a sense of our own ability to take action.
By opportunity, I mean there must be a clear path to taking action that we can recognize as a possibility. This might be the very existence of a website that we can find and participate on.
By small feedback loops, I want to be clear that we need to get information quickly and directly that our contribution is accepted and valued. We need regular positive affirmation and attention that what we do matters. And we learn when this attention offers constructive criticism.
We are beings who thrive on connection, social animals. Whether leaders or followers, we are drawn to opportunities where we know we are connected to others and to a collective (especially a meaning-making mission driven collective).
Usability. Well, lofty ideals and warm friends won’t get you there unless you can navigate the systems of an organization organism -whether that is a website or a group process.
Higher purpose/mission/values. I was thinking about why the social networks working for good arouse so many passionate committed individuals giving their time and talent. We strive for a meaningful life and a purpose to our identity, and thus organisms/organizations that call to our higher purpose, mission, and/or values pay us in identity credit–the most valued credit in our times.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what unlocks capacity and capital, as this is surely just preliminary thinking on the subject.