I’ve spent the last week or so totally immersed in the redesign and expansion of OpenSpaceWorld.org. The new site will debut in another week, but the learning is already going live.
After 6.5 years of building and managing the site, mostly solo, I’ve created a wordpress-based weblog and am inviting a number of others to co-author and ultimately co-manage the site. Working at the edge of this shift, it’s clear to me that I really don’t want to “let go of control.”
What I do want to do is share my experience and expand awareness. I know much about the site, how it’s built, how it runs, what is possible. It’s this awareness that I really want to expand, to invite others into. I have no need to control decisions, but I do have some sort of inner drive to share what I see and what I know. Then we, whoever comes into the working group, can make decisions together.
So often we criticize a leader’s “need for control” without distinguishing a (perhaps deeper) need for sharing experience and knowledge about the work. Notice that the latter (sharing) requires that a leader’s experience be met by a follower’s respect and attention, while the former (criticizing) implicitly assumes that the leader has nothing special or advanced to share. Of course, the sharing also requires that leaders actually do bring some depth of experience.
All of which has me wondering… Is the churning and flattening of organization crushing experience, eldership and learning? Are we inviting expanding awareness or just working to stay in control? What’s your experience?