Today’s topic looks at the importance of identifying the starting point of an idea or a project. Who was the original creator, the inventor, the initiator (which I shall refer to as the Source)? How are upsets in teams connected to this concept of source? Why do some projects simply not work and why do we often react miffed and protective when it comes to sharing our ideas? And how does it influence hierarchies? Naming the source is not only important to create balance in teams, projects and organizations, but also in our personal relationships and in dealing with us. When I acknowledge the source in someone else, we work together more joyfully and create fewer misunderstandings. If I feel and honour the source in myself and follow it’s natural flow, I am more likely to do “my thing” and experience more wellbeing. Source
- any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained.
- the beginning or place of origin of a stream or river.
- a book, statement, person, etc., supplying information.
The Creation ProcessIf an idea, a project or an organization were an individual, we could attempt to trace back how this being first came into existence. At the beginning of the individual’s life, there was the act of creation. Just as a child has a mother and a father, ideas do as well. Let’s assume there is a field or a dimension in which all ideas and all creations exist; the field of limitless, and impersonal, potential (at this stage, the ideas are impersonal, they belong to no one and are available to anyone as pure potential). This field as the masculine or “father” connects with a carrier, the feminine or the “mother” who brings life into existence as the Source. As with carrying a child, a person having “received” an idea that came from the field of limitless, potentially may indeed feel as if he or she is “going pregnant” with the idea for a while prior to it’s birth. Even after an idea has been born, a strong connection continues to exist to the field and the Source. Like parents, they exist as the biological origin of the child. Irrespective of (and not diminishing the influence of) who raises the child, they will always have a special role. For the success or the child in life, it seems to be vital that this primary connection is recognized and honoured, even if other people bear a bulk of the childrearing work or even if another parent adopts the child. Likewise, the connection of the Source to the project or idea will remain, even if others take it upon themselves to realize the Sources’ vision.
The Role of HelpersThe role of others as supporters and helpers for the success of a project envisioned by the Source is paramount. As in the metaphor of the child, a single parent would never be able to do as good a job raising the child as a whole community could. As they say: It takes a village… The bigger the original vision is that the Source brings into existence, the more likely the Source relies on others for realization of this vision. The helpers can take on all kinds of different roles; from translating the idea into concepts or tasks, to taking on roles as “sub-Sources” with full responsibility for a sub-project. Each helper can form his or her special connection to the project and become a central figure in the growth process — but the Source as the point of origin must be recognized and be free to energetically balance the larger space within all sub-projects are nested. If anyone unrightfully claims ownership of the idea, the balance in the system is disturbed and will suffer a multitude of consequences. The more connected the helpers feel energetically to the idea/vision and the more they are able to honour the special role of the Source, the more momentum the endeavour will gather.
The Source of OrganizationsEvery organization has a point of origin, the moment when the idea was conceived and someone gave shape to what was previously shapeless. This idea of Source in organizations is especially observable in family owned businesses. However, it is important to note, that identifying the Source may not always be as obvious as it might appear at first sight. Often, the founding of the company is attributed to one person (for example the patriarch), but the driving force behind the endeavour is in fact someone else (for example the matriarch of the family). It is therefore essential to examine closely who was the original life force behind the organization before drawing premature conclusions about the Source. The role of Source can be inherited or passed on from one person to another. The passing on of the Source is not a bureaucratic or legal act, but a ritual on an energetic level by which the founding values are passed on, but not necessarily the vision, which can change depending on a number of factors. Even if due diligence has been done to ensure that all the right contracts are in place, the Source can remain with the original founder and the transmission has not occurred. If this is the case, the new leader/CEO, and subsequently the organization, will be weakened. Succession ideally occurs if the person passing it over and the person receiving it are conscious and open to the process. Without full transmission of the Source, a struggle for dominance and recognition ensues. In family run businesses, it is not unusual that the passing of the Source skips one generation. If the Source remained with a grandparent that has already passed, the transfer might be accomplished through a personal ritual of initiation that honours the original Source before the new CEO steps fully into his or her new responsibility as the new Source of the organization. If the person fulfilling the role of Source is still alive, this is a ritual that can and should be conducted in person. In some shape or form there has to be a moment of “letting go” of the old Source for the succession to take place. At the same time, the new Source has to decide consciously to accept her function and to honour the central values that were essential to the original Source to fulfil her responsibility successfully. A few of the tell-tale signs for the Source not having been transferred (or not transferred fully) can be, that a newly appointed leader
- feels disconnected from the business,
- is unsure about next steps, has no vision,
- cannot feel what his or her place or purpose in the endeavour is,
- has no execution authority even though he/she has all the legal power,
- experiences power struggles with other people in the organization,
- is not accepted by others in the organization as the new leader.