Following the NFA talk about Culture Change on October 11th, here is the proposal for a practical experiment within this community. It is addressed to Foundation Management but it could be tried using either Foundation or non-Foundation groups or a mix of both. – Dave Till
Culture Change Experiments A Proposal
To experiment with three or more groups for one financial year: say Feb 08 Jan 09
Each group is to be allocated autonomous control over its own budget, which needs to be adjusted to including staffing costs.
Management to agree to a hands-off approach to managing these groups for one financial year providing each group stays within overall budget.
In return, the experimental groups agree to be transparent about their actions and decisions with anyone who shows an interest and certainly with management.
Groups making their own decisions about how they pay themselves out of what they have, makes a breakthrough in many areas of the existing culture viz. trust, delegation, responsibility, decision-making, personal value balanced with service.
Suggested groups could perhaps include the Hall and the College and ideally one or more service departments. These would be self-selecting whichever ones showed an interest in the proposal.
I would be willing to help publicise the experiment, to offer some background about cultural change and to help form a support system between groups. In return I would request that Management agree to look at co-owning this project rather than giving it passive approval. Without co-ownership this will not fly I dont think.
There is, I believe, a very good reason why this project cannot be conducted by Management alone. Management represent the status quo and cultural change never comes from the status quo. The job of the status quo is to preserve and keep things running. (Expecting change to come from the status quo would be like expecting our parents to have suggested we try drugs, sex and mysticism!) However by working closely together, I think that we could synthesise something I hope you see cultural change as potentially desirable, and that it might come out of controlled experimental conditions, involving people like myself who are on the periphery. But without your input the proposal would have no stability. This is why I feel we need each other to make this work.
Happy to explain more and answer questions when we meet.
With love and good intent.
Download the above as Attach:Culturechangeproposal.doc
A response from Elliott: Attach:CulturalChange-DSG-RB.pdf
Cultural Change in Findhorn
In response to Dave Tills talk on cultural change and Randys thoughts on leadership,
I would like to offer another perspective and a different model.
If you where not there I very briefly mentioned Spiral Dynamics which is about cultural
evolution and Sociocracy (or Dynamic Self-Governance, DSG) which is a structure that
enables the change Dave is proposing and provides other benefits. The main change I
heard Dave suggesting was:
People work in small autonomous groups who manage their own finance and all work
with a common purpose. He highlighted how this would build more trust in our
community and give personal empowerment and greater leadership.
Well Im pleased to tell him and you this has all been done, rigorously tested and
possible to implement in our community (although it sounds like they have more fun at
Semco, without the other benefits). What Dave wants to create here is basically how
NextGEN (Next Generation of the Global Ecovillage Network) operates, by utilizing the
4 governing principles of DSG.
To address Randys input of: Leadership is about Vision, the why we are doing this
and management is about the how, how we achieve our Vision. I can agree this is true,
and with a change in perspective, culture or structure this can change. Management
can become visionary. In DSG these two roles become one as relationships to power
transform. Everyone contributes to the why and the how as much as they feel to. The
Sociocratic economic model also follows this instant karmic principle of you reap what
you sow. You become free to concentrate on where your passion lies, being a
workaholic, spending time with your family or meditating 12 hours a day.
DSG is an evolution of Democracy. It includes simple decision-making processes and
a change in relationship to hierarchy that would provide the cultural change Dave is
talking about. A DSG organization consists of semi-autonomous circles that lead (why)
and manage (how) themselves. They are linked to the other circles.
Eventually other organizations link together and the boundaries between for-profit and
not for-profit, fade away. It is the perfect tool in aiding our communities transition into a
As Spiral Dynamics was mentioned in Daves talk I would like to say again; Daves
proposal nor DSG would provide us with a cultural evolution in Spiral Dynamic terms. It
is a step in the right direction, creating the structure for and recognizing a natural
interrelated hierarchy exists. Spiral Dynamic thinking could be used to aid Findhorn
transcending into the spiritual cultural levels of the spiral but it will not be easy. DSG
would just be one powerful tool.
The personal benefits from being in a DSG culture are many for one it aids me in non-
attachment to my ego. I have been studying DSG for about a year now while
implementing it into NextGEN. The President of the American Sociocratic Society is
mentoring me and Im exploring training as a consultant under him. I will be offering a
DSG intro training to our community soon and I will invite you all. To provide
transparency I intend to approach the NFA and the Foundation so all I am talking
about can start to become possible.
LOOK OUT FOR THE REASONS WHY I LOVE DSG IN UPCOMING ISSUES. If you
want more information, please email me,
Peace, Love & Evolution, Elliott.