Difference as Resource [Chance] Enspiral Principle

ensprialBy changing your viewpoint to see differences as resources, you totally change group dynamics for the better.

Yesterday evening nudged by my lovely wife, Jean Russell, I went to the:
Enspiral Immersive Workshop :: Making Groups Work + Organising without Bosses
[Link is to the event happening tomorrow Wednesday 23rd at the Impact Hub in Oakland. Do yourself a favor and go.]

Further down is a great quick video summarizing what Enspiral is all about. They may have cracked the code on how our non hierarchical future of work will look.


Enspiral is a collaborative network of over 260 professionals and 18 social enterprises headquartered in Wellington (New Zealand), with nodes in other locations around the country and internationally. It exists to create a system of work where people can focus their energies on what is most meaningful to them – solving the biggest problems of our time.

I love Ensprial’s  5 principles:

  1. Thinking as a group
  2. Difference as resource
  3. Creative reconciliation
  4. Feelings are information
  5. Flexibility

Number one is not to be mistaken for group think, which the next principles will make clear.

I am fascinated with point 2, Difference as resource. It changes the whole attitude towards having a different opinion to be constructive rather than destructive.

One of the SAP Mentor Magic foundations principles that guide the SAP Mentors is being Constructive in Our Criticisms. It is one of the fundamental pillars of Enterprise Tribes (E-Tribes): To be an early warning system: for things that don’t work, for areas of improvement, ideally also an integral part of ideation and the whole product life cycle.

Executives are often not ready and able to receive criticism well. They are going into the engagement with their E-tribe looking for confirmation and affirmation.

It also takes skill to give constructive criticism, aka: something concrete, ideally with a suggestion on how to do it better that is actionable by the executive receiving that suggestion.

If everyone is going into their meetings with the insight that differences are resources to be explored, the whole conversation, from the start, can be constructive.  Differences can be seen as opportunities to improve and grow rather than as criticisms to be taken personally. It makes a huge difference.

Yes, and couple that with Feelings are information, which is also a super powerful principle. Your whole person is seen. How your day is going and where you are emotionally is important influence on how you show up. By simply checking in about this, it makes you more aware and more present to the meeting.

I was late, because I had a tough time to find a sitter for Nina and parking wasn’t easy. So my response to how I am feeling right now was: “Frazzled.” Just by telling that, it totally changed my attention and the understanding in the room of where I am coming from. Try it out.

What is Enspiral? from Enspiral on Vimeo.


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