Module 0: Orientation
This is an orientation module. We invite you to become familiar with the program and the ways you’ll participate.
- New Paradigm
You will be asked to think and reflect a lot during this journey. Take time to do that well and really consider how you feel. This is critical to your learning. Here is your first chance to practice this. It is your first deliberate action in the program. Instead of reading the way you might in our ‘skim reading’ world, take time to stop, breathe, and really take in these questions. Think deeply as you take in the answers you will have at the end of this module. Build that habit here and now.
In your journal, on a piece of paper, or digitally, respond to the following:
As you considered the invitation to practice a deeper connection with questions here. As you took a breath, as you were given permission to find that place…
What did you notice you felt when you did that?
Did you think or feel anything, see anything differently?
0.2 New Paradigm
We have arrived at a place where we crave a new world. We crave safety, acceptance, compassion, and fairness. We crave new rules. New institutions. New leaders. New pathways into a future that we create for ourselves.
Over ten years of empirical research led us to a process that illustrates how people, organizations, and social systems can evolve to serve the root causes of today’s social, environmental, and spiritual challenges.
It’s about rewiring the way we live, the way we work, the way we play, and the way we are when no one else is watching. It’s about becoming human again.
Making a Cooperative Impact.
Our global collective behavior leading to this moment has produced institutional failure. We face challenges like poverty, violence, hunger, and the destruction of our home, planet Earth.
“In recent years, business has been criticized as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems.” -Michael Porter, Harvard
The short-sighted, transactional focus of the old paradigm erodes the ability to neither criticize nor affirm authority. It inhibits empathetic understanding of the marginalized, and makes it difficult to comprehend solutions to complex global problems that likely require collaborative solutions.
“Somewhere along the way, people got the idea that maximizing investor return was the point. It shouldn’t be. That’s not what democracies ought to seek in chartering corporations to participate in our society.” -Seth Godin
The old paradigm disconnects us from our humanity, and inherently neglects the long-term impact on human evolution. We develop generations to move through our institutions perpetuating the existence of the challenges preventing our evolution.
“A declining emphasis on the study of the humanities could lead to a world of useful profit makers with no imaginations.” -Martha Nussbaum, Stanford
The fundamental principles governing the way we participate in the free market are ill-equipped to serve our evolving needs.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein
Today calls for a new way of being, new thoughts, new tools, and a new organizational DNA that gives birth to more businesses that are financially successful through the prioritization of serving human needs. The good news is that we don’t have to travel all that far. We know how to be human, we just need to create the permission, the structure, the reality of what building human into business looks like.
We are building an entirely new context for humans to show up in.
Why do we participate in a system that perpetuates the challenges that prevent our evolution? Why do we face similar challenges today as ten, 100, 250 years ago? Why do we find ourselves in a life, a community, a company, a society that feels as if it were designed for someone else?
Within all of us, there is a heart-centered, magical, loving space mostly free of the ego. As we explore the depths within ourselves and learn to authentically relate with others, we begin to access ways of being that transcend the old paradigm and make room for a new way of life. A place where we have the capacity to collaborate on the work that is needed to restructure society, prevent the problems we currently face, and shape a world that serves more of us. How might we bring ourselves from where we are, to where we are going?
The Four Movements
We move through the process by learning to be with ourselves in the present moment. To gain a deeper understanding of the self and evolve into our highest self is to expand our potential beyond the limits we knew were capable.
When we question our ways of being and the efficacy of the social structures in place we soon discover the system is flawed by design. It has been flawed since inception. Hunger, poverty, terrorism are merely symptoms of the underlying problems that have rooted themselves in the way our society regenerates itself through birth > family > community > school > career > family. Today, this flow is not a seamless experience for each human.
To begin the process of releasing our past self and the old paradigm as we enter an ambiguous place of unknown can bring a sense of discomfort. Perhaps fear. “If I don’t have the system I’ve relied on for my survival, how will I survive?”
This is the grey area of life. The place where we learn to navigate uncertainty and embrace complexity. The place where we make meaning. From here, momentum builds naturally as we align with others who believe what we believe and intentionally shape the future as it unfolds.
To make such a profound shift requires that we, the humans, experience a shift in our consciousness. An elevation of awareness of our Self. A deeper understanding of who we are and why we get in our way.
This is the path to enlightenment – to intentionally embark on a lifelong journey of emergence and evolution. Through deepening our sense of the Self we arrive to a way of being that feels quite different from the old Self. The past Self is consumed mostly by the ego, is competitive, and invents narratives and stories in the mind that makes enemies of friends, family, and lovers. This new way of being – the new Self – feels different from the Self who participates in systems that perpetuate the existence of the same social and environmental challenges we’ve faced for centuries.
Moving through this emergence, we shed the old and discover new parts of ourselves deep within that are intrinsically driven to serve humanity by simply ‘being’. After going through these experiences we noticed the way we think, feel, and behave were driven by an authentic desire to help, nurture, and care for all things. The powerful place we hold as a part of creation is important and valuable and we all rely on each other to bring that forward in the new paradigm.
Imagine what the world would look like if our leaders of Fortune 500 companies went through these shifts in consciousness resulting in elevated levels of compassion, empathy, and vulnerability. What would become possible for the planet – for the human race – if such a thing were to occur? We are moving beyond imagining, through imagineering, to creating.
We believe this process begins with letting go of the past. In doing so, we make room for new ideas, tools, vocabulary, and a way of life that is already here all around waiting for us to notice.
Go back and reread this section. Highlight (physically or digitally, either works) key parts that resonated. Write your own comments on this in your journal/paper/screen.
We all have an experience of what being human is…
What is yours?
Write about it in your journal. What does showing up as human in your life and work mean for you? Tell us. Tell us what you would do, how you would be. If you have a story that tells us, write it.
At Cooperative Impact, we like to check-in with ourselves and the team throughout the week – sometimes throughout the day. Before any meeting, we always do a round of check-ins first. Each person shares what’s going on in their life right now. We all listen, but not to respond or give advice – we just listen to be there for one another.
It feels safe when we remove the fear of judgement or being given advice on how to fix the problem.
The practice of checking in creates the conditions for a connected experience by starting from our heart – our relationships – and from that place we collectively transition into our work. When it comes to building projects that serve humanity, checking in is a crucial tool that builds trust in the team, strengthens our cohesion, and because of that we are able to amplify our collective impact.
When I look next to me on the track and see you walking alongside, navigating the rocks, climbing the hills, without words, I walk taller, I walk on.
Checking-in is an opportunity for us to gently pause, notice our surroundings, become aware of our emotional experience, and ground ourselves in the present moment.
The practice of checking-in:
We invite you to stop now. We ask you to check-in with yourself. To magnify the space and give yourself permission, a perfect starting practice is to breathe deeply a few times. Fill yourself with oxygen, access you. Be ok in that.
Now that you are there, do you notice any sensations in your body? Your nervous system? What do you feel? Ask yourself that question again as you close your eyes and rest in stillness for 60 seconds.
In your journal/paper/screen.
What was that like for you? How did you feel about that time?
As you actually consider where you are at and the things you thought about when you checked in, write down what you thought about. All answers are perfect.
Something magical happens when we gather from around the world for the purpose of experiencing a shared sense of humanity. Globals are live sessions 60-90 minutes facilitated by our leadership team on Zoom.
We have five Globals planned throughout the program. These globals will enable us to check-in, strengthen connection of the cohort, hear from the leadership, and navigate our way towards unified cooperative action.
- August 27 at 7pm EST
- September 9 at 1pm EST
- September 21 at 7pm EST
- October 5 at 1pm EST
- November 4 at 7pm EST
Save the dates! That’s all.
We brought the various elements of this experience into a central web platform to give you everything you need, all-in-one-place. In the Lab, you have access to view peer profiles to align with a team on values, be notified of important dates, access tools, lessons, and activities to complete over the course of the experience. If you ever feel lost or unsure where to find something, jump into the Lab. You should be able to find what you’re looking for there.
The Lab is where you share, connect, and support one another. The Lab is full of tools. The forum is where you respond to prompts from microlessons, express thoughts and feelings about their experiences in the program, and give/receive generous feedback and support for one another. Use the list of all learners in the current cohort, review their profiles and understand their purpose/vision/values will help you begin to align with those you resonate most with. Clusters will be born from this.
Consider this. You have just walked into the Lab, it is you and the others. What will you bring? What will you be? What will you offer? How will you show up?
Write your response in your journal.
These sessions are facilitated live by a specialist facilitator who works directly with your cohort. Workshops are designed for you to work one-on-one with cutting edge educators to practice new tools, learn new skills, build your emotional intelligence muscles and develop self-confidence while you strengthen connection with your peers. These sessions are recorded and made available to rewatch as needed. Workshop dates are listed in the Lab.
You are here because you are a change seeker, a learner, wanting to lead in life. If you could ask a facilitator a question, maybe two or three, what would those questions be? Can you come up with five? More?
Start to think about questions you’d like to ask. Write them down in your journal.
The Cooperative Impact team created short videos to provide you with specifically curated lessons that you can view at your own pace. The Microlessons will take you beyond simply watching a video/listening to a file. Microlessons typically have a video or an audio file, a text write-up, and a prompt or activity for you to work on within your planned learning time in your schedule. To get the most from this program, we recommend days to complete certain microlessons because they were intentionally planned in relation to live workshops and other elements of the program. Microlessons can be found in the Lab along with the dates we recommend for each.
When we give ourselves permission by creating space to do what we really believe is the right thing, we build successful habits.
Look at your schedule and plan the learning time you will spend to get through the Microlessons and responses. Block the time out. Perhaps you experiment with different blocks of time from week to week, but we recommend being intentional about carving out time each week ahead of time.
Clusters are where you get the opportunity to find the others. To practice leadership in connection. Clusters generally consist of 3-6 self-organizing learners who work together to find a weekly meeting time that works for everyone in the cluster. Clusters meet virtually once each week for 60-75 minutes. In that time you will practice checking in, exercise your skills and provide support to one another in developing new approaches to challenges, getting unstuck, and moving themselves and their projects forward. We provide prompts and talking points to support you in steering these dialogues in a way that moves your projects forward.
This is one of your biggest opportunities within the program to practice what it means to be human in a time together with others.
Think about what the peopleyou hope to connect with. What do they believe about the world? What do they say? What’s important to them? What are they like?
Note down in your journal what you feel as you think of these people. Create a statement around that. “I would like to align with people who…”.
When we were small, we could take a page, some crayons or coloring pencils and see a picture before we put marks on the page. It formed in our mind, then we started. We could change our minds on the way through too. And the picture was just fine as a journey of where we were at and what came through us.
We invite you to see the page now, see the colors, see the ideas. Now is your chance to set intentions for your journey. This process is designed to put you in the driver seat of your learning and development. You know what should be on the page.
Open your journal and respond to the following:
Why are you immersing in this experience? What do you hope to give and receive? How do you hope to feel during and after? You might lead your responses with, “My intention in being in this experience is …”
Now reflect on the ideas you spoke into existence above, breathe deeply and answer:
What are 2-4 skills you’ll need to learn in order to manifest your intentions?
Finally, explore the relationships with certain people that will support your intentions:
Think about the 2-4, maybe more, people that may play a role in supporting your intentions. What will become possible when you reach out to them to request a 1-1 call?