By Susan K Furness, Edgewalker Senior Associate
I love playing with polarities or opposites. I embrace their canny ability to help recognise positive learning, naming my truth through observation and not opinion. I mean, if I am unable to describe the liberation in fearlessness, could I tackle the paralysis of fear? Likewise, if I haven’t lived in dark or darkness, could I name light?
In her book, Edgewalkers Dr. Judi Neal unleashes truths in the experience of the moment. Indeed, the book was birthed after years in the corporate world, and she later integrated her business experience with academia-based research. As her professional insights were compared with freshly harvested data she was able to ground her intuitive knowing.
Published in 2006, her book cements more than 25 years of research. She describes Edgewalkers as on the cutting edge of human evolution suggesting when an Edgewalker archetype is awake to self-truth they become committed to making a positive difference in the world.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Judi embraces the realization we each show up with different worldviews or what we call “Archetypes of Change.”
I joined the Edgewalker community in 2007 joyfully embracing her glossary describing eclectic approaches to communications, planning, innovation, risk-taking, and openness to change that I witness in business and life.
As with polarities, such words help flick the switch to understanding. In a ‘blink’ as experience is named, my individual worldview and response is ripe for evolution. In that moment, I resemble Dr Judi’s profiling of an Edgewalker : ‘using human potential to integrate intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual energy in service to something greater (than myself)’.
Dr. Judi cautions : “It can be lonely being out on the edge, and people often think you are crazy….”.
Ain’t that a fact; one I receive as good news, least not in the these curiously lingering corona times as many seek the ‘new useful’. In this hazy light, I welcome a guiding light and in pops the second archetype, the Flamekeeper.
Dr. Judi describes : Flamekeepers are those people who keep the original vision of the organization or community system alive. They keep wise counsel and are focused on what is best about the past … open to change, using experience to honor what has worked in the past.
These attributes influence my toolkit as I step willingly yet cautiously into 2021 – some pundits label it ‘twenty twenty won’. I opt to carry luggage not baggage, appreciating the courage required to bless goodbye to what doesn’t serve anymore. This takes de-cluttering to a new place, often on the edge of surrender.
Dr. Judi reminds us a Flamekeeper orientation pays homage to the guiding mission and purpose : “A strong sense of stewardship permeates the culture of a Flamekeeper organization, allowing the business to carry into the future the best of the past, while also remaining adaptive and nimble.”
The Flamekeeper also appreciate values : ‘…values are clearly articulated, and employees are able to name when actions are in alignment with these values.’
I deeply value the vault of vocabulary unleashed by Dr. Judi’s work especially the nimble relationship to change and a graceful relationship to time akin to the five archetypes.
And there is no time like the present to face our truth and douse the flame that no longer serves. These times call us as beacons; to illuminate an expansionary view of our world as we walk the bridge to oneness in love, prosperity and peace.
You can read more about Edgewalker Organizations and the Archetypes of Change (called “Orientations” in the article, by clicking in this website on Resources/Articles by Judi Neal/Edgewalker Organizations.