One of the patterns emerging from our work in the Art of Hosting, is the practice of developing and supporting a core team that can collectively hold the bigger work that is being done.
At the moment I am working consciously with the core team pattern at VIATT, with the WK Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Conference, with the Quinault Indian Nation on a tribal strategic plan and with smaller conferences and gatherings, including one next week – a conference exploring collaboration in the child welfare and family services practice field. On that one we have been working with a core organizing team to co-create the process and a workbook for the conference to use. Today on our last conference call before the meeting, the organizers asked about catastrophic plan in case something happened to me and I couldn’t make it on the day. I replied that in that unlikely event, we should reflect on the fact that we have planned this entire gathering collaboratively and that if I got hit by a truck next week, any one of them could hold space on the day, working with the group through the set of exercises and experiences we have planned together. Everyone immediately recognized the power of a core team and the power of co-creation. It reuslts in co-ownership.
Working with core teams is differnt from facilitating a planning committee. When I work with core teams I join them as a host to discover the heart of a project, and to develop a co-created capacity to host a project together. This is not the same as acting as a facilitator for a team, inmy experience. Core team work comes from the inside of the group, not the outside. This is especially true of the large scale change work, because those projects need more than one person to generate and hold the deepest need, and to create capacity that lasts, that holding must be within the project. The core team then becomes the host for the project and the project become the host for change in the world, or the organization or the community. These fractal levels of work are very interesting to me at the moment, and very important to learn about as well. We’ll be rolling a lot of this thinking into the module Toke Moeller, Monica Nissen and I are leading at the Shambhala Institute this coming summer.