We are embedded in and active drivers of a rich ecosystem of purpose-driven communities, who have been exploring the edges of more meaningful work for almost a decade.
A lot of our knowledge and practice has grown from and continues to be nourished by these communities. We are in continuous relationship with them, both as individuals and as an organization, and share the core values of these communities such as: Collaboration, Permanent Beta, Do-ocracy, Openness & Care.
There is always a trade-off between working alone and as a coordinated team. Though individual autonomy is an important value for us, the reason we are here is because we believe we can be more ambitious as a group. We embrace our interdependence and invest in creating alignment between us—to grow our impact, make bigger bets, create sustainable livelihood, enable unexpected potential to unfold, and have fun along the way. This also means taking on the perspective of and caring for the health and success of the whole, not just the parts.
Our society puts a high value on theoretical concepts and models, but their potential can only unfold when we apply and evolve them based on lived experience. The world is also changing so rapidly that theory cannot keep up. Coming from our origins in practice-based communities, learning through practice and continuous experimentation are at the heart of our work. We only offer what we have experienced ourselves and are always learning, through our work and by nourishing relationships with leading thinkers and practitioners.
Power dynamics are important, whether we acknowledge them or not. Power does not only accrue through status and seniority, but through intangible elements such as skills, age, gender and communication style. We are committed to consciously working with and sharing power, by making these dynamics visible and not shying away from (uncomfortable) conversations about power as a group. This will enable us to step into our individual and collective leadership.#
We don’t believe there is one ‘right’ approach or a universal framework to solve anything. We make sure to understand the context and look at different perspectives and levels before jumping to conclusions or into action. Working in complexity also means fostering our curiosity and openness about different ways of seeing things, and be able to sit with contradictions and dissent. And the answer to whether, in the end, it all comes down to personal change or system change first, is that one is not more important than the other, we need both.
Great leadership starts with taking responsibility for ourselves and our own experience. This self-awareness and empathy towards ourselves is what helps us care for each other and be great stewards of the whole system. When we create a caring environment, we can grow personally and as a group, by being able to safely explore our edges and have courageous and compassionate conversations with each other.