“Networks are the only form of organization used by living systems on this planet. These networks result from self-organization, where individuals or species recognize their interdependence and organize in ways that support the diversity and viability of all. Networks create the conditions for emergence, which is how life changes.”
– Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze
Lifecycle of Emergence: Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale
A Living System Response
As the Work That Reconnects was developed and shared around the world, an organic living system came into being. This living system is the global Work That Reconnects community, which includes all the people around the world who are actively learning about, practicing, facilitating and adapting the Work That Reconnects in their own individual and cultural contexts.
The Work That Reconnects Network is the response to the natural desire that arose from this global community to find one another, connect with each other and collaborate on the journey of this deep work.
The WTR Network is led and administered by an ever-evolving group of Work That Reconnects facilitators and lovers of the Work. These folks are dedicated to providing support, connection and inspiration to the global WTR community and celebrating the wide variety of beautiful expressions of WTR as they emerge around the world.
Organizational Structure of the Work That Reconnects Network
In our commitment to serving the Great Turning, the Work That Reconnects Network constantly strives to transform the way we think about and approach leadership, power and organizational structure.
As a fiscally sponsored project of Inquiring Systems, Inc, a US-based non-profit, the Work That Reconnects Network has the legal and financial foundation to function as a non-profit organization, but is free to be creative with its internal organizational design and self-governance.
Our model of governance and organizational structure is inspired by sociocracy, also known as circle governance. As an organic response to the actual needs of our organization and community, it has taken its own unique form. Our design emphasizes collaboration and allows for horizontal (non-hierarchical) leadership and decision-making processes, while encouraging cooperation and communication across the various focal points that make up our larger global community.
Circle of Circles
The Work That Reconnects Network is a circle of semi-autonomous, interconnected circles. The Weavers Team, made up of both staff Weavers and volunteer Weavers, forms the central circle. This circle is responsible for staying attuned to the big picture, recognizing and responding to the needs of our global community and the organization, itself.
The Weavers Team takes care of:
- Tending to the mission, vision and values of the organization
- Creating policies and principles for the organization
- Establishing and supporting WTR Network committees
- Approving and tracking the overall organizational budget
As projects arise and specific tasks are identified, the Weavers Team generates other circles to take on these tasks. We refer to these circles as committees. Each committee includes at least one volunteer Weaver and at least one staff Weaver, called Root Weavers, so they are “double-linked” with the Weavers Team. The Root Weavers are able to carry information and perspective back and forth between the Weavers Team and the committee.
Once the purpose and scope of these committees are identified, they’re empowered to fulfill their tasks with autonomy and to develop in any way that serves their purpose. The Root Weavers entrusted with each committee may seek out volunteers from the global WTR community to participate in the work of the committee, thereby weaving in more voices and perspectives from around the world.
Decisions within the Weavers Team and in each of the committees are made by informed consent of all members.
Our Next Steps
At this stage of our development process, we’re focusing on strengthening the operational committees necessary to perform the tasks of the Work That Reconnects Network. In our next stage of growth, we plan to convene and weave connections with various Advisory Councils. These Councils will provide guidance and direction for the organization directly from the wider community.
The illustration above shows the organizational shape we are working with, with the Weavers Team as the center of the flower and each of the committees as a petal. It is a work in progress. We are open to feedback, discovery, emergence, and adaptation as we explore ways to serve the global Work That Reconnects community.