NF Plan Bulletin - 02
A New Way of Organising
This bulletin presents some key ideas regarding the organisation whose creation was called for in the New Future Plan (NF Plan). This organisation is being referred to as NVC-O (for NVC Organisation) until it is given a real name.
What will NVC-O be?
NVC-O is designed to be an international NVC organisation, which will connect and serve NVC trainers, practitioners, and organisations all over the world, and contribute to spreading the benefits of NVC. It will more or less do the things that CNVC has been doing — including offering IITs, offering certification, providing a point of contact for people to learn about NVC and NVC trainers, and so on — but will also set the stage for a great deal more to happen.
How will NVC-O relate to CNVC?
NVC-O can be thought of as simply a name for the new form that CNVC is evolving into. NVC-O is an evolution, continuation and expansion of CNVC. CNVC will continue to exist. It’s almost the case that CNVC and NVC-O are simply two different names for the same thing. A subsequent bulletin will describe the relationship between NVC-O and CNVC in more detail.
The NF Plan invites people who are passionate about practicing and sharing NVC to make themselves known to one another by registering as Members of the NVC-O Community. As time goes by, systems will be developed by NVC-O to offer resources to Members of the NVC-O Community, and to support Members in connecting with one another in life serving ways.
NVC-O (the organisation)
The term NVC-O (or whatever name replaces it), when used without adding the word “Community,” refers to an organisation that is embedded within the NVC-O Community.
- Everyone who is in NVC-O (the organisation) will also be a Member of the NVC-O Community.
- However, only some Members of the NVC-O Community will choose to actively participate in NVC-O.
○ This is similar to the way that, currently, only some people actively participate in CNVC (via participation in the CNVC Board, Staff, IIT Resources Team, Certification Coordination Council, and Assessor group).
- Likely, most NVC trainers will become Members of the NVC-O Community, but only some will choose to participate actively in NVC-O.
The organisation, NVC-O, will be a place where work gets done in service of the NVC-O Community, and in service of bringing the benefits of NVC out into the world.
The remainder of this bulletin will be about how things work in the organisation, NVC-O.
A new philosophy for organising
Any organisation faces the challenge of making sure that there is some coordination and consistency in what is done by people in the organisation.
Traditional strategies for achieving this tend to rely on a top-down hierarchy, in which just a few people (“on top”) are the ultimate decision makers. This strategy works, but has limitations: even with the best of intentions, it can easily result in a “power-over” style of relating; and it limits the number of people with the authority to make decisions, which can limit how much and how quickly things can get done in the organisation.
NVC-O uses a different strategy for organising, which might be called “distributed self-management,” intended to reduce the chances of power-over relating, and greatly increase the capacity for getting things done.
The design of NVC-O was greatly inspired by author Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations. This book analysed companies that have been wildly successful while organising their work in innovative new ways. To many of the people involved in developing the NF Plan, these ways of organising seemed to be exceptionally aligned with values inherent in NVC.
Laloux found that in traditional companies, a huge amount of energy went into trying to control people, in ways that were ultimately not very effective, and which blocked people’s abilities to bring their full aliveness to bear in serving the purpose of the organisation. Designs like that of NVC-O offer an antidote to these problems, supporting both full access to people’s passion and talents, and consistency with the purpose of the organisation.
What supports getting more done
In NVC-O, the capacity to get things done is dramatically increased by:
- avoiding having a top-down hierarchy that would create a decision-making bottleneck,
- allowing there to be an unlimited number of Partners (full participants) in the organisation, and
- giving every Partner full authority to make the decisions needed to get things done.
What supports coordination and consistency
Coordination and consistency are supported through a variety of systems. All Partners are asked to:
- Use the Purpose (and Vision and Mission) of the organisation as a guiding star to orient their activities. The Purpose, especially, is to be treated as a something living and evolving, at the heart of everything that is done.
- Be aware of their impact on others, and take responsibility for caring for the whole, especially in any decisions they make that impact others.
- Participate in small work-groups, called Weaves, so that work is done in close partnership with others.
- Commit to receiving, and integrating, regular feedback from those they work with or affect.
- Commit to transforming conflicts that arise, particularly with other Partners, to find strategies that work for everyone.
- When making decisions, seek advice from those affected by or with expertise relating to the decision.
- Honor, and help to evolve, operational agreements that support consistency in what people can expect from one another.
- Offer transparency, so that other Partners know about, and can potentially engage with, whatever decisions are being made.
For most people, it is likely to be new and unfamiliar, to work in a way that is completely shaped by the ideas above. As a result, another essential part of the design is that:
- Everyone who becomes a Partner goes through a rigorous Onboarding Process, to ensure that they are prepared to work in this environment and are aligned with this way of working.
These nine elements (and others) make it possible to both fully empower individuals, and support coordination and consistency in what happens in the organisation.
Additional coordination mechanisms
Work in the organisation gets done in work-groups called Weaves. There is no limit to how many Weaves might eventually be formed within the organisation.
The different Weaves in the organisation are grouped into Clusters of Weaves, which are organised around related themes. The members of the Weaves in each Cluster will select representatives to serve together in a Cluster Weave.
The Cluster Weaves will, in turn, select representatives to serve on a Global Council. The Global Council will also include a representative of the NVC-O Community.
The Cluster Weaves and the Global Council serve functions of information exchange, coordination, and focusing on the big picture. They are not part of a “command and control” hierarchy.
Individual Weaves are autonomous in their decision making, subject only to the coordination and consistency mechanisms described in the prior section, and any agreements that they enter into voluntarily.
This bulletin has offered some key insights into how the organisation of NVC-O is intended to make it possible for much more to get done, while still supporting coordination and consistency in what happens.