Organizing Regeneration: 7 creative ways to start action researching for transformations

There’s a group of AR+ members who design and facilitate transformative learning spaces in support of regenerative organizing and leadership for sustainability. We also convene in a shared workshop setting to help one another do more effective, more transformative action research. Our intention in getting together once a month is to learn from what we’re already doing so as to distill our insights in a way that’s useful for ourselves and one another.  

We suspect our conversation and insights may have broader resonance.

The format we use in our workshop is that one member offers a short presentation of their project that ends with an inquiry/challenge. 

INQUIRY: What creative activities would you bring to a corporate environment interested in regenerative organizing. Specifically, there’s a group of middle managers who have volunteered to explore and support the concept and practice of “regenerative organizing.” You’ve agreed to pilot some work with them for a few months in the hopes it gains traction.  How do you best start?!

The rest of us then follow with a round of reflective peer support. We’re not giving advice; we’re speaking from looking at our own practice.  At the end of each session, we then harvest lessons learned and key principles. You can also check out the video snippet at the bottom of the blog.

HARVEST: SEVEN creative ways to start action researching for transformations

  1. What regenerates you (asked of the protagonist action researcher) in this work? What’s transforming in YOU related to this project? What’s YOUR transformational intention for yourself? (Practice of personal intention setting, different from goal setting.)
  2. What will regenerate the participants? How will they feel they’re regenerating? (Practice of focusing on what the participants acquire, rather than what you say you want them to acquire)
  3. Note the big values difference between a future of regenerative organizing and the current (financial) system. How do you invite people to be aware of those values for themselves and as a collective and witness them transforming? (e.g., Practice of team journaling)
  4. The practices you encourage between meetings may be as – if not more – important than what you do in the meetings (Practice with small teams of participants; self-organizing between sessions meeting)
  5. Invite the whole self of the participants in; Break silos, (e.g., connect to participants’ hobbies)
  6. Use artistic, non-verbal tools (i.e., haptic/touch “e.g., Lego” drawing etc.)
  7. Bring in the regenerative capacity of nature Herself…what could a vision quest (or at least some aspects of it) look like if done online?!

The following video snippet contains a variety of gems that could be useful in many circumstances! Enjoy.