Source

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Peter Koenig on source, money and consciousness

...Lisa Gill: So Peter, I thought maybe we could start with the work that you've done around source, and perhaps you could explain to listeners what that source work is and how you came to develop it. Peter Koenig: Yeah Lisa, thank you for this ques...more
...isa Gill: So Peter, I thought maybe we could start with the work that you've done around source, and perhaps you could explain to listeners what that source work is and how you came to develop it. Peter Koenig: Yeah Lisa, thank you for this question. You're talking to what has become one of my passions, so I'l...more
...ing the resources, including money, (but not just money) would seem to follow, not to lead. And I referred to this person who starts something as 'a source', because I'd learned that from one of my partners back in the 1980s, and he called himself a 'source' rather than a 'founder' and I liked that word,...more
...erred to this person who starts something as 'a source', because I'd learned that from one of my partners back in the 1980s, and he called himself a 'source' rather than a 'founder' and I liked that word, because it seemed to be more expressive of the role somehow. So I always said it's always a person wh...more
...r than a 'founder' and I liked that word, because it seemed to be more expressive of the role somehow. So I always said it's always a person who is a source and sources something and at a meeting in Belgium in 2009, somebody asked, "What do you mean by 'source'? What does the 'source' do?" And I rattled o...more
...o I always said it's always a person who is a source and sources something and at a meeting in Belgium in 2009, somebody asked, "What do you mean by 'source'? What does the 'source' do?" And I rattled off without having really thought about it, what I tend to do and what I thought other people did, and th...more
...ays a person who is a source and sources something and at a meeting in Belgium in 2009, somebody asked, "What do you mean by 'source'? What does the 'source' do?" And I rattled off without having really thought about it, what I tend to do and what I thought other people did, and this person happened to be...more
...actually, everybody's great surprise, everybody said what I had just described was exactly what they did. And, that was the start of what I call 'the source work' because at the beginning I thought they were just being nice to me. I said, "This is what I do but I don't expect anybody else to do the same thing....more
... entrepreneurs, that people who start things, do which isn't written down anywhere, and, I went from thinking of it as a light hypothesis, called it 'source hypothesis' beginning, then after about six times I had this experience, I called them 'principles', maybe, and then after about 12, times, I started...more
...suggesting might even be 'laws', but I thought that was too strong, so I backed down to 'principles'. And I've called them ever since, 'principles' ('source principles') and had now, this experience of this resonance towards them, repeated hundreds of times and in different kinds of iterations. And where ...more
...share some of the principles that you've developed over the course of testing this out, some of the things that seem to be common around this role of source. Peter Koenig: Gladly. So the work started in 2009, what I call 'sourcework', (I like to put it in one word), and at the beginning I didn't have any ...more
...l pretty simple, actually), but the first one is that for every initiative, for every project, for every enterprise, there is only one person who is 'source' or one founder. And for people who have founded things, this is usually very, very clear. But particularly in recent years, people like the idea ide...more
...challenged and come up with some ideas around it. On the other hand, to my own surprise, when I started having people coming in as co-founders in my source days, more often than not, and by large numbers more often than not, when they call themselves 'co-founders', I would say to them first of all, with ...more
... to somebody else that they can't really take on because they're not getting the proper information, because they aren't the founder. They aren't the source. So I've had too many experiences like that to easily get away and admit to co-founders, but everybody is on an equal level of responsibility, let me...more
...there seems to be such positive results in helping people to look and see; who could it be, (if we're not sure yet), who could it be who could be the source, identifying that person and understanding the role there. So that's the first and quite important principle. And then the other principles look at t...more
...erson and understanding the role there. So that's the first and quite important principle. And then the other principles look at the role then of the source. Is it okay just to carry on talking like this, or do you have another question?...more
...Lisa Gill: Yeah. Well I always have a lot of questions but I think the opportunity will come up and I think the role is a very important part of source. So yeah, please. Peter Koenig: So I started to research then what is the role? How can we define what this founder does and distinguish it from othe...more
...we define what this founder does and distinguish it from other roles in an initiative? And it started to become clear quite quickly what the role the source has. I now define it in three roles, actually. One is to actually receive the vision for the initiative or the project or the enterprise. It's like a...more
...ve role which comes in the form of an idea, but many people have ideas. And the distinction to make between somebody who has an idea, somebody who is source is that the source is the first person to actually take the risk, to say, "This is going to happen, this is what I'm going to do, and you can join me...more
... in the form of an idea, but many people have ideas. And the distinction to make between somebody who has an idea, somebody who is source is that the source is the first person to actually take the risk, to say, "This is going to happen, this is what I'm going to do, and you can join me, you can come in i...more
...n to the number two, the second and third person, who may have similar ideas, (they'll never be identical), but quite similar ideas, possibly. So the source is the person to receive the vision and then actually take the first step to the realisation. And that involves an investment of oneself and taking a...more
...nvestment of oneself and taking a certain risk, and the risk can take various forms. So that's the first role. The second role is then that when the source is clear on something that they communicate it. Now, clarity is the organising principle for a source. So most of the time, we all are not clear with...more
...st role. The second role is then that when the source is clear on something that they communicate it. Now, clarity is the organising principle for a source. So most of the time, we all are not clear with our projects and initiatives. And this tends to be just a fact of the life. Probably at least 80% of ...more
...hat to do next, and we're looking for what to do next. But if we take a decision while we're not clear, it's almost inevitably a bad decision. So the source has to invest a lot of time and energy in getting themselves clear to know their project, in which direction it should go next. And almost invariably...more
...ked very well for industrial society and producing widgets. But today it has its very strong limitations and I tend to look at an organisation from a source work perspective, as a field of energy. It's like when an initiative is started with this risk, it's like the founder is actually creating, (you could cal...more
...rol of people, control of structures, control of this strategic planning, the third role is actually managing the boundary of this field. Because the source person, the source needs to decide what's in the field; what's in and what's out, what belongs to the field, what things do I want to see happen with...more
...rol of structures, control of this strategic planning, the third role is actually managing the boundary of this field. Because the source person, the source needs to decide what's in the field; what's in and what's out, what belongs to the field, what things do I want to see happen within the field of inf...more
...eople, I mean, ultimately, customers, but also collaborators, and, and, and... So there are other people involved, and so it's a full time job, for a source to just be doing these three things; to be managing the vision, which is dynamic, because it's not static, to communicate the next steps that need to...more
...weaken this integrity, and things would start to happen which you feel uncomfortable with. So that's what I would describe as the three main roles of source. ...more
...m learning more and more, and having spent sort of five days with you in New Zealand just recently as well, is the paradoxical nature of this role of source. And so I remember when I first came across your work, as you described, being challenged, and thinking, hang on a minute, this goes against everythi...more
...organising. And I remember that our mutual friend, Tom Nixon, he had a nice way of putting it that what you're describing, these three roles that the source plays, I think it can conjure up images again of the kind of charismatic leader or the sort of heroic leader, which is a sort of old paradigm now, a ...more
...w, a bit out of date I think. And actually, what Tom said is that it's more of a vulnerable visionary, that there is a lot of humility in the role of source. It's this paradox between being very clear, as you said, and having some kind of creative authority about what's in the field. And yet, at the same ...more
...do it, and so forth. So I love what you're saying. Exactly. It is a paradigm shift and it needs to be, in a sense, this is what we're doing with the source work, we're in training, that we're helping this form of collaboration to emerge. And, as you say, it's a paradox because in a sense we are still enabling...more
...f really interesting debate. And I know that you've talked to Fredrik and I know that he's also evolved his thinking somewhat, and he refers to your source work in the illustrator version of the book, and also now in some of his videos. What is your perspective on looking at source work in the context of Fred...more
... and he refers to your source work in the illustrator version of the book, and also now in some of his videos. What is your perspective on looking at source work in the context of Frederick Laloux's work in terms of orange and green, and teal? Peter Koenig: I'm not an expert on spiral dynamics, although I have...more
...I love Frederick Laloux and his work. And actually, thanks to Tom who you've mentioned, he actually came the first time we met to one of my, I call, 'Source Days'; a day long introduction of source work in Brussels. And then we had the opportunity to meet afterwards. And I asked Frederick Laloux, "In your...more
... actually, thanks to Tom who you've mentioned, he actually came the first time we met to one of my, I call, 'Source Days'; a day long introduction of source work in Brussels. And then we had the opportunity to meet afterwards. And I asked Frederick Laloux, "In your book, you've done nothing else pretty well th...more
...ds. And I asked Frederick Laloux, "In your book, you've done nothing else pretty well than interview, what I call, 'sources'..." And he'd been to the Source Day, so he was able to recognise that they're all founders. If you read through the book, the information is all coming from sources. And I said, "Ho...more
... well what's been happening, and after a while I think Fred would have to speak for himself, but I think he's seen that's why he started following my source work, because he got to understand the limitation in terms of not recognising the role of the Sources. And, bringing it into his whole theory as well. And...more
...e, gets fed up with it all and says, "Blow this, I'm fed up with this, it's really not working." And then, what I say, is they start to develop their source, (I like to use the word), developing their strengthened source in another way, but getting clearer in another way. And finally, there's an inner tra...more
... this, it's really not working." And then, what I say, is they start to develop their source, (I like to use the word), developing their strengthened source in another way, but getting clearer in another way. And finally, there's an inner transformation taking place, which will move them up to the next st...more
...come to look at what their purpose is, their mission is in life, etc, etc. Yeah, I think where I get really excited about the possibilities that your source work offers, is that I think many of us, (and I'm including myself in that, because I, myself have been on a journey of being a bit in my green blind spo...more
...if not the things that we're trying to move away from. And so, there's a lot of people feeling stuck and confined I think, and I find that using this source work as a lens can be very liberating as a way of like diagnosing and being like, "oh, that's why" because it's not clear or actually we can all agree tha...more
...y liberating as a way of like diagnosing and being like, "oh, that's why" because it's not clear or actually we can all agree that this person is the source, and we can be okay with that and we can all willingly step into that". (It) Doesn't become a dictatorship suddenly, because we're still conscious hu...more
..., can be very helpful. He's turned the way I described things round a bit in a very good way. I think he helps everybody to see first that they are a source. So everybody is a source of something and helping you to see what you're the source of, can take away some of this initial resistance of the somebod...more
...s turned the way I described things round a bit in a very good way. I think he helps everybody to see first that they are a source. So everybody is a source of something and helping you to see what you're the source of, can take away some of this initial resistance of the somebody who's more of a source o...more
...ood way. I think he helps everybody to see first that they are a source. So everybody is a source of something and helping you to see what you're the source of, can take away some of this initial resistance of the somebody who's more of a source or who was the original source in my field. But after you re...more
...a source of something and helping you to see what you're the source of, can take away some of this initial resistance of the somebody who's more of a source or who was the original source in my field. But after you recognise that you are the source of something, it can help you to recognise that you are a...more
...ng you to see what you're the source of, can take away some of this initial resistance of the somebody who's more of a source or who was the original source in my field. But after you recognise that you are the source of something, it can help you to recognise that you are actually in somebody else's fiel...more
...f this initial resistance of the somebody who's more of a source or who was the original source in my field. But after you recognise that you are the source of something, it can help you to recognise that you are actually in somebody else's field, and that somebody else was the source of this field. So he...more
...ise that you are the source of something, it can help you to recognise that you are actually in somebody else's field, and that somebody else was the source of this field. So he's kind of turned it around. I've always been starting with the founder, who founded something, and looking at the people who the...more
... something, and looking at the people who the founder has attracted within their field. But it can be very useful also to look and see everybody is a source and you may be a source who has founded something from scratch, but you may be already a source who's actually planted yourself into somebody else's ...more
...at the people who the founder has attracted within their field. But it can be very useful also to look and see everybody is a source and you may be a source who has founded something from scratch, but you may be already a source who's actually planted yourself into somebody else's field. And just to ackno...more
...an be very useful also to look and see everybody is a source and you may be a source who has founded something from scratch, but you may be already a source who's actually planted yourself into somebody else's field. And just to acknowledge that you've done that means that you have to look at what they we...more
...o's actually planted yourself into somebody else's field. And just to acknowledge that you've done that means that you have to look at what they were source of so that you can acknowledge what they've been doing too, and how that is to your benefit and mutual benefit. So I like that way round of looking ...more
... things now very much too. Yeah, I like that. And I know you've talked about how, in organisations, you can have people who are aware that they are a source, and then people who have a kind of employed mindset; "I'll do the minimum that's required to not get fired or to not get in trouble or do my nine to...more
... in terms of learning and practicing to make decisions, to ask for when I need, to challenge things, to question things, to create proposals, to be a source of initiatives, and when that happens, I think only when both of those shifts in those directions happen can you have a truly self-managing organisat...more
...les. But when it comes to your life, it requires a certain level of development in a development of what you could call your connection to your inner source to actually step out and take responsibility and actually start something in life. And that's whether you're a manager in a big organisation with so-...more
...k me to look at their initiatives or their enterprises, I'm not looking at their organigram and their structure in that way, I'm looking at who's the source here, who started it? If it was started, historically, who's holding that position right now? Because if it's still alive, this thing as one of the s...more
...e here, who started it? If it was started, historically, who's holding that position right now? Because if it's still alive, this thing as one of the source principals, there must be somebody holding this energy, holding this field now. And who is it? And then who, who are the people? What is the line in ...more
...t necessarily in these management positions, it needn't be the CEO or somebody who's got the so-called powerful positions. And that's what makes this source work very fascinating, because what I've found and felt very intuitive to me. If you're not dealing with the people in this, what I call 'source line', yo...more
...this source work very fascinating, because what I've found and felt very intuitive to me. If you're not dealing with the people in this, what I call 'source line', you're dealing with people who are not in a position to take decisions. So you may be for example, wasting an enormous amount of time being as...more
... and they say, "Well, yes, but I have to go to somebody else" or "I have to put this to my committee", etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. When you go to a source person with your pet project and you recognise that they are in this line, they will love you from the start just for the simple recognition, because...more
...ecause it's all been a lots of agreement right now, so maybe we can dive into some more challenging questions. So one of the common challenges of the source work that comes up, (I know you've experienced it, and I've experienced it in my conversations with other people, particularly in my circles of people wor...more
...arly in my circles of people working with new ways of working), is the question, can a small group of people or can multiple people hold that role of source? Because a lot of people feel like, "I don't like that there's just one person with this sort of centralised role." I'm convinced that in our initiat...more
...le. So what's your response to that? Peter Koenig: Well, as I said at the start, as far as I'm concerned, for any role, there's only one person and a source as the person who's taken the initiative. Now, it's not always easy to convince people about that I agree with you and my experience is that if peopl...more
...imenting with this and actually, I had the belief that we were, until after a certain point, I recognised looking with hindsight very clearly who the source of this particular group was, which explained so much of what happened within the group during the 10 years. It explains totally, I needn't go into d...more
...nd but has no basis on the ground in reality. So I would return and, (this is the thing that people don't like sometimes), to insist that there's one source for each initiative with a very singular vision, and a very singular purpose related to that person, and in a sense, the calling is had to materiali...more
...deas come from and I haven't met anybody who really does know. You could say from God, but I don't think it's worth looking at. I've had people in my Source Days, who have been, for example, founders of a petrol station, and very profane kind of businesses and they equally have inspired ideas of what the ...more
...e things like companies, money, these are all stories that we collect and believe in, and I think if you look at organisations through that lens, the source work makes a lot of sense - that an organisation can't be a living thing. Yuval Noah Harare says, a good test is, can it feel things? And an organisation ...more
...hat an organisation can't be a living thing. Yuval Noah Harare says, a good test is, can it feel things? And an organisation can't feel things. But a source can, a person who's holding the role of source can, so you know, okay, that's real, that's not a story that's a person. So I think yeah, sometimes fo...more
...val Noah Harare says, a good test is, can it feel things? And an organisation can't feel things. But a source can, a person who's holding the role of source can, so you know, okay, that's real, that's not a story that's a person. So I think yeah, sometimes for me, the danger of talking about organisations...more
... is if it's this living thing and talking about listening for its purpose, and so on. My suspicion is that there is someone there playing the role of source, but it's maybe not transparent and so what we're really listening to is them and not the organisation, and that can become a bit tricky. And I think...more
..."well, what does the organisation want? Is it this ? But no, apparently it's not that. Okay!" Peter Koenig: So, what I say is that the organisation's source, if one's talking about that, the organization's purpose, excuse me, is the purpose of the founder. The purpose of the source, the vision is the visi...more
...that the organisation's source, if one's talking about that, the organization's purpose, excuse me, is the purpose of the founder. The purpose of the source, the vision is the vision of the source. And if it isn't, the whole thing is weakened. It needs to be that actually. And I agree with you about story...more
... talking about that, the organization's purpose, excuse me, is the purpose of the founder. The purpose of the source, the vision is the vision of the source. And if it isn't, the whole thing is weakened. It needs to be that actually. And I agree with you about story. So, ultimately what we're talking abou...more
... it isn't, the whole thing is weakened. It needs to be that actually. And I agree with you about story. So, ultimately what we're talking about, (the source work), I can acknowledge too, is a story. It's a story, (if you like) that I'm making up for the moment, because it came through me. But my deepest belief...more
...ty in terms of power, authority and responsibility, if somebody comes with the evidence, this is working, and their story is working better than the source work, I'll be the first to ditch the source work and say, "Okay, I go with yours." And who knows, it might, at some time in the future, even be so. I'm ev...more
...ibility, if somebody comes with the evidence, this is working, and their story is working better than the source work, I'll be the first to ditch the source work and say, "Okay, I go with yours." And who knows, it might, at some time in the future, even be so. I'm even open to this possibility, but it seems to...more
...Lisa Gill: What would your advice be, or what would you share with listeners in terms of how the how the source work relates to decision making? Because I think there's a misconception sometimes that "Oh, right, okay. So if we acknowledge the source, then they need ...more
...the how the source work relates to decision making? Because I think there's a misconception sometimes that "Oh, right, okay. So if we acknowledge the source, then they need to be involved in every single decision and that seems incredibly inefficient and dictatorial. And it was interesting to me to hear t...more
...efficient and dictatorial. And it was interesting to me to hear that you spent some time with some folks in the sociocracy world, and you applied the source work to the lens of consent-based decision making. So what would you say about decision making and how source work relates to that? Peter Koenig: Right. S...more
...e sociocracy world, and you applied the source work to the lens of consent-based decision making. So what would you say about decision making and how source work relates to that? Peter Koenig: Right. So if you understand that you've got a field with the founder as the source of the whole field, it's the source...more
... about decision making and how source work relates to that? Peter Koenig: Right. So if you understand that you've got a field with the founder as the source of the whole field, it's the source, who takes 100% responsibility, and takes the decision for the whole field. But you've got people within the fiel...more
...e work relates to that? Peter Koenig: Right. So if you understand that you've got a field with the founder as the source of the whole field, it's the source, who takes 100% responsibility, and takes the decision for the whole field. But you've got people within the field, and hopefully, they are sources t...more
...ir particular field within the fields for it to work well. And there, they have total agency or should have total agency, and the only thing that the source of the whole, within whose field they're in, should be looking at is, what they're doing, does it fit the larger field? Not the details of the operat...more
...and I would never do what you're doing, this is your field, you've taken the responsibility to create it, you go ahead and do it." That's what a good source would do of a whole operation - wouldn't intervene because the intervention, (we're talking about pure delegation), the intervention in the sub sourc...more
...ource would do of a whole operation - wouldn't intervene because the intervention, (we're talking about pure delegation), the intervention in the sub source's field will demotivate the source and the person would want to go off and create elsewhere. So the decision making; you're 100% responsible for what...more
... - wouldn't intervene because the intervention, (we're talking about pure delegation), the intervention in the sub source's field will demotivate the source and the person would want to go off and create elsewhere. So the decision making; you're 100% responsible for what you have sourced so on the other s...more
...e talking about. So in my view, what's really happening there is that you have somebody with responsibility in the inner field as a whole or in a sub source position and you have a circle of people who are helping that person. So, what is called 'joint decision making' is not really so in my view. What ha...more
...eople who are helping that person. So, what is called 'joint decision making' is not really so in my view. What happens is that the person who is the source, took the initiative for that particular part of the operation is looking to get clear. So of course, they're asking advice of the other people in th...more
...nt consent, even consensus in the group. So I would reframe what is seemed to be happening there in many sociocratic groups, is that actually, it's a source getting clear, and the others are really being very, very helpful. And when it's redefined in that kind of way, what I have found is that it is reall...more
... really helpful for the whole sociocratic group - when they understand that that's what's happening, because everybody can take their own position as source then. And we're not all trying to make decisions. Let me add one more thing: Why do I think it can't work, this joint decision making? Because from a...more
...re thing: Why do I think it can't work, this joint decision making? Because from all the evidence I've been getting, when you initiate something as a source you create this field of influence, you get a download of information starting with the vision, but you're being informed all the time. All the time....more
...ed out to be what I would now call 'consciousness work' and related to your identity. So if you want to develop and become a more conscious, a better source, let's say that, it means developing, what one might call 'consciousness', and how this looks is that each of us is everything. Each of us has the ab...more
...es, as not being 'me', but see that everything has its potential use. And that's another aspect. But in a different way, I can come to the subject of source from that aspect of developing my own inner source becoming more and more whole as a being, more conscious as a being, and then being able to make my...more
...its potential use. And that's another aspect. But in a different way, I can come to the subject of source from that aspect of developing my own inner source becoming more and more whole as a being, more conscious as a being, and then being able to make my contribution ever more so. So again I'm answering ...more
...eople listening, who are on journeys of their own, perhaps towards becoming a self-managing organisation, or maybe they're on their own journey, as a source or doing their own inner work. So, with all of the work that you've done over the years with source and money work and identity work, what would be y...more
...tion, or maybe they're on their own journey, as a source or doing their own inner work. So, with all of the work that you've done over the years with source and money work and identity work, what would be your advice? What are some tips for the journey that you would share? Peter Koenig: Oh, boy, thanks f...more
...t just being kept alive. So that's really my deepest message here with the whole work and of course. It relates to nourishing what I would call your 'source', and your your relationship to source however you like to look at it, whether you believe in God or don't believe in God, like there's something mov...more
...ly my deepest message here with the whole work and of course. It relates to nourishing what I would call your 'source', and your your relationship to source however you like to look at it, whether you believe in God or don't believe in God, like there's something moving within a thought, which is energeti...more

Bill Fischer and Simone Cicero on Haier and the entrepreneurial organisation

...er in China have kind of evolved with the organisation. So it’ll be interesting to see those people who haven’t come up in that world, fresh from the source, so to speak, what challenges they’ll face in unlearning and learning this new way. B Fischer: So, one of the things is for sure — the people who ru...more
...o. But Simone has a scheme that talks about architecting, empowering and enabling, which I think is really addresses your question very effectively. Source: from the EEEO Toolkit https://platformdesigntoolkit.com/eeeo-toolkit/ S Cicero: Yeah, I mean, in general, I feel like Haier has eliminated a lot of...more
... example there is a lot of talk about Non-violent Communication and I think you touched on this topic also with Peter Koenig when you spoke about The Source, but to some extent sometimes I feel like I am one person that sometimes uses violent communication when I work with teams. And sometimes I feel like...more

Frederic Laloux with an invitation to reclaim integrity and aliveness

...ll of them are part of reality. And if you’re only looking at it from one side, then you’re missing the other three. Ken Wilber’s four quadrant map. Source: https://integrallife.com/four-quadrants/ Basically everything has an inner and an outer component, like the inner component is just our thoughts an...more

Lisa Gill and Mark Eddleston celebrate 50 episodes of Leadermorphosis

...einventing Work meetup in your city or start one; that's the great thing that you've done, Mark, is to make it really spreadable movement - it's open source; you can just set it up and have conversations with like-minded people. I've been to Reinventing Work meetups now in London, in Melbourne, and Sydney...more

Amy Edmondson on psychological safety and the future of work

...gaged and motivated by the work and by the goal — and you feel that you wouldn’t be willing to hold back because this is a safe place to take risks. Source: Amy Edmondson’s “Teaming” Risk-taking by definition is going to involve some things going well, but some things not going well. That’s part of work...more