see-saw co-development

Stage 3: moving on

The third stage of See-Saw can take many forms, according to the choice of the participant. In every case, further reflection on the conversations will give insights that help you find good ways forward.

One possible outcome is that the participant as individual could actually play a role in one of the initiatives, if that initiative is either up and running, or ready to launch. This would be the way in which See-Saw could most closely resemble a recruitment process, with the difference being that the focus is on the values of the individual and the venture. The working relationship is more likely to succeed, both because values for both have been a focus, and the better the values match, the better the working relationship; and also, because the two participants will have had a conversation both ways round. A co-operative style of relationship has been primed, rather than a hierarchical style. This first possible outcome is about developing initiative ideas.

Closely related, two or more people could agree to meet up afterwards, to put more thought and energy into an initiative that they agree is promising. This outcome is about developing ideas into practical initiatives.

A very different possible outcome would be where the participant in the position of individual is seeking feedback for his or her personal or professional development. Rather than anonymous and general advice about what skills, competences, etc. are needed in “the labour market”, the See-Saw process gives feedback on what would be useful specifically in collaborative, values-conscious initiatives, where the participants can expect to get a lot of information about the each other's values. From this vantage point, the individual will be both more confident and more motivated towards gaining the wanted skills. This outcome is about developing individuals.

Between these end points, there is a whole range of possibility. One particularly interesting way forward is for one participant as an individual to identify a desire for development in a certain area, and at the same time to notice that another participant has knowledge, skill or competence to take forward a valued initiative. Instead of trying to find officially provided learning opportunities, the participant who wants to move into that area can approach the more experienced one, with a request to “follow” them. This idea for a way of arranging things has been called follower guidance. The less experience person follows the more experienced one, partly in the sense of social media “following”, but agreed both ways, and it is a two-way relationship where the person who is followed can also be guided by the comments of the follower.

Go round until satisfied

See-Saw Co-Development can be engaged with as an iterative process. The rich and intense feedback from one See-Saw meeting can be expected to lead a participant to refine his or her briefs — as individual and/or as holding an initiative. So the next See-Saw meeting attended can offer more. Each meeting, each conversation, adds to the vital feedback that a participant is receiving, so that the whole See-Saw process is one of powerful learning. And each meeting provides another opportunity to open oneself to the possibility of other ventures.

Can I borrow your ideas?

If there are several good ideas for initiatives being shared, what's to stop people from just taking ideas from other participants?

Most importantly, the initiative ideas that we expect to be discussing will be ideas that contribute to the common good, and quite often ideas that have been around for some time, but no one has managed to realise them. It is more likely to be a matter of finding other people who are interested, than keeping an idea private. It will be the outcome of the conversations that takes these good ideas forward, and that is a product of collaboration, not of matter of private ownership.

However, even ideas for the common good will sometimes be sensitive for a time. If an idea seems ready to put into practice, it may be important to protect it from being taken over by vested interests that would seek to deny it life. We ask all participants:

  1. to make it clear if they believe that some part of their ideas need to be protected in this way;
  2. to respect the confidentiality of any ideas that are stated to need protection.

The case we expect most often is that ideas will be seen as the products of conversations, and that they are held in common. We will offer all participants the chance to publish their venture briefs on our web site, helping to publicise their ideas and attract supporters as well as collaborators.