Does the universe seem to conspire with you? Everything seems to work. Or does the universe seem to conspire against you? Nothing seems to work.
Building on our global work of the past twenty years at the Institute for Strategic Clarity, my colleagues and I have been building an understanding of the underlying ecology of consciousness and nature, the reality that humanity is and in which it swims. The practical application of this ecology is the agreements field. An agreements field is the energetic field that you experience of a set of agreements, of the reality you experience with a group, in a specific space. This agreements field–what you unconsciously accept or consciously choose about how you will interact with reality, with each other–includes 10 dimensions of reality.
These dimensions describe the reality of the ecology of consciousness and nature. That means that they are dimensions of your reality. By seeing them as dimensions of your reality, dimensions that you can directly experience, this gives you the tools, the choices to change the agreements field, to adjust to the reality you want. The reality you need to have the experiences you want and to achieve the outcomes that are yours to achieve. They are all there, for you to choose. This is getting the universe to conspire with you, because the universe asks this of you. Decide how you want to agree to enter and relate with each of these dimensions. Set your intention.
The ten dimensions are relatively straightforward, building on thousands of years of observation across all human cultures, as well as string theory in physics. In essence, the universe is made up of purposeful energy, energy that transforms to and must serve a purpose. It is in the very nature of energy. So here is the first choice–what is the purpose towards which the energy is invited to engage. A tool for this is the Deeper Shared Purpose.
Then you have to connect to the energy. This is the choice of how to connect you and others to a purpose that engages them. This is connection to the source of the energy. Does your purpose and your process for connecting to it engage? We call this cohosting. That’s the second choice.
This purposeful energy comes with many different ways of understanding it, of relating to it. You can think of this as another multidimensional energy that requires many different lenses for engaging it. Like an 8-part harmony in a jazz ensemble or the 3 parts of deciding whether you can make money building and selling something (can we make it, can we sell it, can we profit from making it and selling it?). You need all of the requisite perspectives of that specific purpose to perceive it and engage it. You cannot do an 8-part harmony with 3 voices. You cannot decide whether you can make a profit by just knowing how much it will cost to make. You need all of the required perspectives. What perspectives are required depends on your purpose. The choice here is in how you bring in and work with those perspectives. One tool for this is the O Process. This is the third dimension of choice.
The degree to which those perspectives engage and share what they are perceiving depends on their experience of trust. This is reflected in the level of vibrancy experienced in five primary relationships: the relationship to one’s own self, to the other, to the group, to nature’s creative process, and to spirit’s creative source. When you have generated a space of low vibrancy where the experience is of a weak relationship to these five primary relationships, almost nothing of what the people perceived is shared. When you have generated a space of high vibrancy, people experience very strong relationships to these five primary relationships, and they share all of what they are perceiving and build on it together synergistically. From very low energy throughput to very high energy throughout. This is the fourth choice. A tool for assessing the level of vibrancy experienced is the Agreements Health Check survey, available free online.
These first dimensions describe whether you were able to engage the purposeful energy. The next set of dimensions describe your choices in transforming that purposeful energy.
Do the agreements in your group work with the energy engaged? The engaged energy comes in three forms: in knowledge of what already is, in developing new capacities and relationships, and in seeing new possibilities, accessing new potentials. Do your organizational agreements, structures, and processes work with all three forms or focus mostly on one? If you tend to focus explicitly on outcomes, existing capacities, and what is already known, you might capture the energy engaged around the knowledge shared of what already is, but you will lose all of the energy engaged around learning and seeing of new possibilities. You have to be structured consciously to work with these three forms and not lose them to entropy. This fifth dimension of choice can be assessed with the Agreements Evidence Mapping tool.
Once you have the engaged energy flowing into your organization, do you know how to transform it efficiently and effectively into something that others want? This means taking the inputs of raw resources and creative energy and putting them together in unique ways that drive value for others. This is the crux of the resource-based view of the strategy of the organization. This transformation works at three levels of leverage: direct, dynamic, and structural. Direct leverage is working directly with the resources in the most efficient way: knowing what you are doing to transform these enabling resources into value-driving resources. Dynamic leverage is knowing how to work with the system dynamics of feedback loops that either stabilize towards homeostasis, balancing the local system or grow the system exponentially–balancing or reinforcing feedback. This requires knowing how to work with the feedback dynamics of functional areas. Structural leverage is coordinating multiple balancing and reinforcing feedback loops–the organizational system–to achieve the overall desired goal. Maximize output from minimal inputs, across interacting feedback loops. This requires knowing how to bring together interacting feedback loops of balancing and reinforcing forces to achieve desired outcomes. This strategic systems work is the sixth dimension of choice. The Systemic Leverage Index tool describes the level of direct, dynamic, and structural leverage in your system and how to increase them.
For you to be resilient in your ability to continue to transform the engaged purposeful energy, you need to be able to access the resources you need. This resilience is a function of inflows and outflows. To be resilient, your resource inflows must match your outflows. Your resource outflows are the resources you need to transform the energy inputs into the product or service you are offering. Think of these as the costs of bringing in people and resources and having facilities. The inflows are the resources you need to provide the outflows. Think of these as the money, products, and services required to provide for the people, enabling resources, and facilities. When your inflows match your outflows, you are resilient. When your outflows exceed your inflows, you are not. When your inflows exceed your outflows, you are wasting resources. A tool for measuring your resilience is the Resilience Dynamics map. This is the seventh dimension.
These are the dimensions of transforming the purposeful energy engaged. The third set of dimensions key in on transferring that transformed energy.
Do the people you are intending to offer the transformed energy want it? Are they ready to receive it in the form offered? Shockingly, most groups will expend great amounts of resources to know how much money they have (accounting information systems and processes) and how much inventory they have (enterprise management systems), and they will then survey their consumers every couple of years, meaning they spend almost nothing in knowing whether people actually want and are able to receive what is being offered. When I ask, many, many groups tell me that they don’t really want what is being offered. This shows in the marketplace, and is harder to see in civil society and government offerings. And, when they do want what is being offered, it is often offered in ways they cannot work with. It is too much or too little, or in a form they don’t want. I don’t need soup, I need clothes. We want water access, but not through the policies you implemented. We want to educate our kids, but not your way. But you don’t ask, so you don’t know. Anther possibility is for the intended recipients of the transference of the transformed energy to be deeply involved in the process, co-creating the forms they most need and are ready to accept of the transformed energy. This is the highest value they can put on that energy. The Memetics and Epimemetics tools describe the ability to transfer the transformed energy, your eighth dimension of choice.
Who in the system are you actually serving? What percentage of the time? Many groups declare they are serving the entirety of a specific population, when their outcomes show they are not. Public K-12 education for all citizens. Serving all sports fans in our area. Yet, they only reach half the intended population, and the half they don’t reach is predictable, often by zip code. And, they reach most people in the system some of the time. The eCubed tool measures the degree to which a system serves everyone in the system (E1), everywhere in the system (E2), everyday in the system (E3). A system says it is designed for the people it is serving. This is eCubed (E1 * E2 * E3) equals 100%. Most systems have an eCubed far less than 100%: they are not serving the system they say they are. They are not transferring all of that transformed energy to the explicitly intended community, rather a subset of it. This reflects the quality of the overall system design. This is the ninth choice.
The 10th dimension of choice is the people you engage. When you invite people into your purpose, you are asking them to exchange their calorie burning for lumens generating. They need money, food, housing, etc to take care of their needs. These are all calorie-equivalents. Things to provide and protect more calories into their bodies for existence. When these are covered, these calorie burners become lumens generators. Lumens are the creative expression of human energy, as people connect to a purpose and the creative energy begins to flow. This is what you are doing with your organization: bringing in calorie burners to generate lumens. These lumens generated bind with the inputs of enabling resources to transform into value-driving resources.
You have all of these choices. Choices that you make every day, whether you do it consciously or unconsciously. The agreements field of these ten dimensions that you generate directly influences how much of this purposeful energy you access, engage, transform, and transfer and how much you lose to entropy. In all probability, you are currently losing most of it to entropy, because you have accepted an agreements field and not consciously designed it. You are expecting the universe to work in a specific way, which sometimes works for you and sometimes doesn’t. Another way of understanding this is to see that these are all dimensions in a set of choices, an agreements field that you can generate. They are all there for you to work with. This is how you get the universe to conspire with you. You tell it to. That is the choice that the universe expects from you, to know how to breath with you, to conspire with you.