The source and the initiative

The relationship between the source and the initiative

Through his conversations with hundreds of founders, Koenig discovered that the source has a relationship with the initiative unlike anyone else – even others involved from the beginning.

When people take the initiative, they are taking a first step to realise their vision for meeting a need they have. It could be a need for freedom, creativity, challenge, security or many other things. The initiative becomes a vehicle for having the need met. It also invariably involves the creation of something external that does not yet exist, a need for which the source is uniquely positioned to realise.

The source may not at first be able to express their vision in a way that is understandable for everybody but when they are clear about it themselves everybody can feel the weight of it. The source’s job is to receive the many ideas associated with the vision, become clear and articulate the next step in its realisation.

Only the source knows whether their need is being met, and they have a strong felt sense of which next steps for the initiative as a whole are right or wrong. They know instinctively what’s in and out of scope. The reason for this is that they alone are connected with the information channel which was established at the originating moment and through which ideas stream, for sorting, prioritising and decisionmaking. So only they also know when the initiative is complete – when the need has been met.

One of Koenig’s most important and surprising discoveries is that this special relationship between source and initiative persists indefinitely, even decades after founding unless this role has been passed on in an orderly succession process (more on succession later.) This link exerts a force on the initiative, like gravity, whether acknowledged or not and whether the source is considered to be part of the formal organisation or outside it.

Koenig concludes that identifying the source, acknowledging them as such and working consciously with their vision is key to creating a harmonious endeavour.

Next: The role of money

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