Friday, 9 December 2016

How Link4Growth is changing to embrace being an Association

For those that are familiar with Link4Growth it has been known for a while that the organisation is changing to be an Association in January 2017. This means in simple terms that the ownership of the organisation passes to the members. The constitution about how it is to operate on a day to day basis and decision making is yet to be finalised but it has been a fascinating year listening to comments, suggestions and ideas on the subject.

When it was first mooted back in 2015 that Link4Growth would become an association there wasn't a huge amount of thought put into it to be absolutely honest. It just seemed that this would be the right type of structure which most closely mirrored what the organisation was attempting to achieve. Owned by the people, built by the people and under the guardianship of the people.

18 months on there is no doubt the steady course that was set to become an association is the right one. But... there is always a but... the ramifications of that decision are much more far reaching than first envisaged. It's not just a change of ownership, that is a fairly simple idea to grasp... it changes things at a very deep level.

We are now collectively responsible for the idea of Link4Growth. What this means is that it is no longer the responsibility of a leader (or even a few leaders) to make decisions and then roll these out. That just replaces what we have with something so similar as to be indistinguishable. We all have to play our part. How do you create an environment where everyone can play a part?

Before we get onto the question above, setting an Intent to become an association like we did I believe set the wheels in motions for events to take place. During 2016 certain things have happened to act as a catalyst in our transition. I believe the universe was effectively saying 'come on then, time to get this moving'. Secondly certain connections have been made that were necessary to change thinking and make the transition to an association possible and... most importantly... sustainable for the long term. It has been a very big year 2016 in many ways.

In order for us to create a new future, we need to provide a space that allows us the freedom to be who we are, have a voice, be respected, not be judged... in fact the '7 Principles of Link4Growth'. To create that space there are a few requirements :-

  1. A Community Coach trained and qualified to create and hold the space for those attending
  2. A guarantee that those attending will be free from the pressures of meeting the needs and expectations of others (the coach delivers this guarantee)
  3. An environment where people will be encouraged to find their own way, i.e. what works for them
  4. That the only right way is that... there is no right way.

Upon this foundation we have the potential to really begin to change things

One of the biggest challenges we face today is apathy. Apathy because "I am just one person, what possible difference could I make?" Apathy because we have grown to accept the conditioning of "it's the way it is you can't change it" to be the truth, and that what we're being offered is the only option. We have been divided and segmented by Politics, Religion, Race, Creed, Money and even Brexit and Trump so that the only consensus we have is to choose from a set of poor options that serve the minority who invented them. It's not good enough, it doesn't work and it's time for change... but to what?

We have been napping in 'apathy' for too long

I spend about 7 hours at least a week thinking. I like to think. I like to re-evaluate, assess, think of new ways to do things using the resources available to deliver more for less. I am incredibly fortunate to have this amount of space, many do not.

What I like about thinking is the world of possibilities. Nothing is impossible. We can try anything in our thoughts, we can dare to dream, think out of the box, imagine if things were different what would other things look like then. It's exciting, it's fun... it's even better when there is more than one of you, thinking together!

All the division, the fear, the nanny state, the education system... all contributes to 'fitting in' being 'part of acceptable society' ... being normal. We're in a mess because the only ideas are coming from 'inside the box thinking' via those with vested interests (in it staying the same), and based on existing systems and frameworks.

To elevate ourselves to a new future we need to innovate and create. As Einstein said. "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them".

What if we brought back thinking, made it fashionable and encouraged people to do it?  We are definitely in need of a lot more independent thinking, innovation and creativity so that we can find alternative ways to solve the challenges we face and... we need the freedom to do it and a framework that makes it easy.

Link4Growth providing a place to innovate where you live

Link4Growth has always been about innovation and about rebuilding our communities, bringing people together, collaborating to create what works. Together along with thousands of others out there investing themselves in great community work we have accumulated over the years great experience and infrastructure to support the community. There are 5 services already defined to support society click here to read about these.

To introduce reslience into the rebuilding of community we are introducing the concept of community coaches. The 'Community Coaches' will deliver a guarantee on ensuring we have a secure, safe space to innovate, create and find alternatives free from any peer pressure to meet the needs and expectations of others. The community coach through example will by default underpin each event with the 7 Principles of Link4Growth.

During 2017 the Link4Growth transition to an Association is completely aligned with each of us taking responsibility for 'Finding our own way',  what do we want to do? ... and wouldn't it be amazing if we were surrounded by supportive people with no peer pressure. Where we were encouraged to learn the three skills to 'find our own way' :-

  1. Make our own conscious choices
  2. Innovate and find alternative solutions to our situation
  3. Consciously accept the risks associated with our choices

And if we came together as groups to tackle larger social issues that are everywhere around us, what then? What could we then achieve? Maybe just maybe we could create that new world that works for the majority.

2017 is our year

Imagine a country exploding with new groups of people coming together to innovate, people finding their own way and together creating alternative solutions to local challenges. Imagine how when this catches on how our belief systems will transform from "it can't be done, to watch us do this"... imagine ... when we all start to use our brains... and imagine... just what could we create?