At its simplest, the work of The Resonance Centre is to unlock and nurture the abundance within each community or organization. Our belief and experience is that communities thrive best in terms of creativity, well-being, growth, innovation, and alignment with values when every individual operates primarily out of their own intrinsic motivation. In cultures dominated by extrinsic motivators such as money and prestige, external goals and systems of discipline, these intrinsic motivations rarely see the light of day. Our work is to change that in a sustainable manner.
This is done through three fundamental practice fields: convening, narrating, and engaging. This might sound like empty jargon at first, but really it’s quite straightforward and very concrete.
1/ Convening practices allow the individuals with a community to speak about what’s most important to them, what they care about, what values they hold most dearly, what visions they would like to follow. These are not typically topics of discussion in most communities or organizations, certainly not with any depth or frequency. And yet it is precisely these conversations that allow individuals to discover and speak their intrinsic motivations, and that allow others to see and hear them. So, hosting practices are simply habits of making the time and space for community members to have these conversation with one another on a regular basis.
2/ Narrating practices serve to give life to everything that arises in those conversations around values, dreams, and visions. Speaking them is not enough. They too quickly pass into silence, forgotten as everyone returns to the safe, established patterns and roles. Narrating stories of what community members care about, of their values, of their visions gives body to a thought, image, or emotion. If hosting practices uncover the seeds of our intrinsic motivations, narrating practices provide water and sunlight, sustaining them as they germinate. To a great extent, communities are the stories they tell themselves. Concretely this means developing community habits of telling stories, creating artwork, making videos, using all the narrative arts to embody what we care about.
3/ Engaging practices, finally, support the individuals within a community to act boldly on whatever truly drives them. This is no easy task, because community means being in interconnected relationship with others. No act is isolated, so the task of nurturing freedom to engage within community also requires supporting habits: habits of decision making, of resource use, of collaboration, of accountability. Those that are best suited to each unique community will vary widely. But they are also essential, because intrinsic motivation does not lend itself to giving directives or delegating or other forms of top-down organization.
Convening, narrating, and engaging practices are just that – concrete practices that must be learned and incorporated into a community and the individuals that make it up if we want to unlock the powerful forces of drive, creativity, inspiration, and growth inherent in intrinsic motivation. We call this resonance: the relationship dynamic at work when all members of a community engage in practices that allow them to behave and act primarily out of intrinsic motivation.