How to Change the World!

‘Despite current ads and slogans, the world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.’

‘We don’t need to convince large numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits.’

The Lifecycle of Emergence:

Stage One: Networks

 

These networks are essential for people finding likeminded others. It’s important to note that networks are only the beginning. They are based on self-interest- people usually network together for their own benefit and to develop their own work. Networks tend to have fluid membership; people move in and out of them based on how much they personally benefit from participating.

Stage Two: Communities of Practice

Networks make it possible for people to find others engaged in similar work. The second stage of emergence is the development of communities of practice (CoPs). Many such smaller, individuated communities can spring from a robust network. CoPs are also self-organized. People share a common work and realize there is great benefit to being in relationship. They use this community to share what they know, to support one another, and to intentionally create new knowledge for their field of practice. These CoPs differ from networks in significant ways. They are communities, which means that people make a commitment to be there for each other; they participate not only for their needs, but to serve the needs of others

Stage Three: Systems of Influence

The third stage in emergence can never be predicted.Systems of Influence It is the sudden appearance of a system that has real power and influence. Pioneering efforts that hovered at the periphery suddenly become the norm. The practices developed by courageous communities become the accepted standard. People no longer hesitate about adopting these approaches and methods and they learn them easily. Policy and funding debates now include the perspectives and experiences of these pioneers. They become leaders in the field and are acknowledged as the wisdom keepers for their particular issue. And critics who said it could never be done suddenly become chief supporters (often saying they knew it all along.)

(These notes are taken from ‘Lifecycle of Emergence’ by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Freize 2006)

To read the full article CLICK HERE!

Share Button

Peter J. Farmer

Peter J. Farmer is a church planter working with teams and networks to catalyze new forms of church that murmurate into movements...

Leave a Reply