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Last week 50 RSA Fellows and friends attended the buzzing launch of a brand-new group, the RSA London Reinventing Work Network, which aims to encourage the adoption of next-generation organisational practices by Fellows, their organisations and the RSA itself.

Network lead Judy Rees reports: (you can read an extended account of the event on Enlivening Edge).

In the past the RSA has hosted public events featuring thought leaders such as Frederic Laloux and Jos de Blok, whose ideas centre around organisational change. The 27,000 Fellows who make up the RSA’s larger community are encouraged to set up interest groups around themes that matter to them, so this network group seemed a natural next step, and when another Fellow, Doug Crawford, and I pitched the idea to the organisation’s London Region leadership this summer, they quickly backed us.

The evening was structured to include lots of conversations, enabling everyone to connect around shared interests; Doug and his fellow facilitator Francois Knuchel kept things moving. We also heard four 5 minute “provocations” from people who are “doing it”: Julian Wilson of engineering firm Matt Black Systems; Shaun Smith of IT consultancy Verseworks; James Archer of Public World, who are bringing the Buurtzorg model of healthcare to the UK; and Andrew Haynes, a grassroots “Culturevist” within a large broadcasting company.

Dunia Reverter, business transformation consultant said:

You could feel the enthusiasm vibrating in the room. It was a very open and interactive session, where participants were bonded by an emerging theme: self-managed organisations that take us to a whole new level of freedom, human achievement, and purposefulness.

George Por tells me that thanks to the RSA’s convening power, this event attracted twice as many people as any other London evening group around this theme.

We’ve also attracted attention from RSA Fellows around the country who are looking to take similar regional initiatives, or combine to create something national. And, we’ve connected Fellows who are facing similar challenges, but who didn’t know about each other and so couldn’t join forces.

At the end, the organising team – an informal group of co-optees and volunteers – ended up with a new challenge: a giant pile of post-it notes with questions and ideas for possible future discussions, and a clipboard which listed a dozen possible speakers.

The next meeting will take place on 4 November. It’s likely to feature a more in-depth exploration of Julian Wilson’s experience, as well as graphic facilitation from Katherine Woods, creator of this fantastic map of Frederic Laloux’s book:

Connect with the Reinventing Work Network on LinkedIn


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