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my doodle!

I’ve been a solo artist working independently for several years now, occasionally teaming up with others around events or short-term media projects. Lately though, I’ve become less interested in just doing one-off collaborations. For one, it gets lonely, and secondly, I’m unable to take on the scale of projects I want to work on all by myself.

I want to be part of a tribe — a creative community of like-minds with whom I can learn, grow, and deliver awesome value to the world, together.

This tribe has a certain kind of culture, based in clearly defined shared values that we not only agree upon conceptually, but live and demonstrate through our way of being.

Here are a few characteristics of this tribal culture:

* we respect ourselves and each other – expressing gratitude and appreciation for the unique gifts and talents everyone brings to the table

* we’re all leaders – positively influencing each other’s thoughts, words, and actions, and offering support and feedback in service of each other’s growth and development

* we’re playful – we’re aware that creativity comes at the intersection of conflicting ideas, sprinkled with a little mischief. ideas and information are our building blocks, and we share them freely, with an attitude of open-minded curiosity and an experimental spirit

* we learn continuously – about ourselves, each other, and the world, making us flexible and adaptive. we expand into all our capacities, not just the rational and strategic ways of thinking, but also tapping into intuitive perception and the realms of imagination, insight and inner wisdom

* we’re happy – we have a sense of control, a sense of progress, a sense of belonging, and a sense of higher purpose and vision

* we have freedom – this is both a state of mind and a practice of self-management. we’ve released old patterns of fear and perceived limitations, and instead choose to be courageous, focused and committed. we’re empowered to make decisions based on the principles guide us. we let go of the need for command-and-control structures, opting to build personal responsibility and strong relationships instead.

* we love life, and each other – no, seriously. it’s a joy to be around people who are passionate about what they do and take pride in their art. and life is art. we see the world as a canvas, ripe with possibilities to birth magical things. we act in service for highest good of all.

NOW….

Where do I go to learn to build and become a culture like that??

**drumroll**

Well, I found a place I’ll be going with as many dear friends and colleagues as would like to go! – the Agile Culture Conference, this September 12 in Philadelphia and September 14 in Boston.

It’s an unconference-style event being hosted by Agile Boston, with the theme of ‘FREEDOM AT WORK.’ Speakers include Harrison Owen, the father of Open Space, Dave Logan, the author of Tribal Leadership (free download on the zappos website), Traci Fenton, the CEO of Worldblu, Jim & Michele McCarthy, the authors of Software for your Head, and Dan Mezick, author of The Culture Game.

I’ve participated in several open space events now in the past year, have read Tribal Leadership, and if you’re a follower of this blog, you may have seen the posts I’ve written about my direct experience working with Dan Mezick and the McCarthys and their work with culture hacking, communication protocols, and building teams of greatness – (How do We Form Tribes of Greatness?, Personal Alignment Precedes Group Flow).

I’ve been hunting all year for the most (r)evolutionary people and practices defining the future of work, and I have to say, this is the best stuff I’ve found so far.

It seems obvious to me that next-gen organizations are going to be values-based, self-organizing, and have an attitude and atmosphere that’s both fun and productive. No one wants work or life to suck — and those of us who are disillusioned by the current options are simply going to build the new infrastructures of the future that we want to participate in.

So let’s go do it!

I’m really looking forward to learning the tools, practices and social agreements that define a kick-ass work culture, and I hope to see you there too. :)

update: use the discount code CULTUREHACKING for $10 bucks off

If you’d like to register for the Boston event, click here.

To register for the Philadelphia event, click here.

And to find out more info about the event, locations and speakers, click here.

further exploring:

Open Space Technology

The Core Protocols – Jim & Michele McCarthy

Tribal Leadership – Dave Logan

WorldBlu: Freedom At Work – Traci Fenton

Self-Management Institute 

The Culture Game – Dan Mezick

Sociocracy

We The People – John Buck