The Collective journey cannot be planned in detail, nor should it. Keeping it open and letting it flow is an essential part of making it effective. However, it is highly advised to set a course and decide how to start the journey and how the first steps will look.
Before deciding on the desired approach, we recommend getting familiar with the c.os model first. The Core Functions and the Core Practices are part of the language you will use to discuss Creativity and develop ways to apply and master it. To make the most of this language, dedicate the first few meetings to introducing and discussing the Core Functions and how the model is structured.
See also the brief introduction to The Creativity Operating System.
Once everyone is familiar with the high-level concepts of the model, it is time to decide how to manage the Collective sessions. There are two primary approaches, but you can think of other variants. Whatever the Collective finds effective or just worth trying will do great.
Sharing the Same Train
The c.os model includes dozens of Core Practices designed to gradually become seamless habits in your life. Experimenting with each Practice, using it more and more with time, until it becomes an inherent part of anything you do takes time. In a sense, it is a journey by itself (see: Plan Your Journey.)
Imagine each Core Function is an Underground line and each Core Practice is a station in which you step out and explore the area (not a very accurate metaphor, but for the purpose of this discussion, it has its value.) In the first approach for managing the Collective, all members are on the same train, visiting each stop together. Unlike a real Underground, the order of visiting stations is flexible, but whether you decide to jump to another line or visit a station at the far end of the city, you do it together.
We should note that between Collective sessions, most of the work is likely to be individual. Each member aims to adopt the Practice in their life and give it their own interpretation. At the same time, when the Collective meets to discuss and share, everyone is sharing experiences relating to the same Practice.
The benefit of this approach is gaining more perspectives and insights on the same Practice everyone is experimenting with. You get a much deeper view of each station you are visiting because it is experienced by everyone simultaneously, each with their own unique way of seeing things.
The challenge in the Sharing the Same Train approach is that at the end of the day, the journey is indeed individual, and therefore, some people will want (or need) to spend more time in a particular station. You should be sensitive to this issue, open it for discussion, and potentially decide to take another approach if you believe it would be more effective.
Multiple Train Rides
In the second approach, each Collective member is setting their own course: deciding which Underground line to go on and which station to stop in and explore next. You can spend as much time as you want (or need) in each station, you can revisit a station, and you control every step of your own personal journey.
The Collective sessions in this approach are a perfect place to stop for a couple of hours, share experiences from all over the virtual city, and reflect together. Each member is likely to be in a different station, but since the order of adopting the stops is not essential, and since many of the Practices are interconnected, there is great value in sharing and discussing these personal insights, even when other members are on other stations. You are getting insights and experiences from all over the city, which might connect to your own experience from the station you are at. These insights might also inspire you to choose the next station you will visit next.
Refine and Adjust
These are just two possible approaches. You don’t have to choose one of them, and you certainly don’t have to hang on to one approach throughout the journey. The Collective is a platform for you to share your journey with others and gain a broader perspective on the c.os model and how to adopt it. How you decide to do that is 100% flexible, and like the model itself, it is open to interpretation and ongoing refinement.