Deep thanks for the encouragement and for generously sharing of your experiences and ideas over the last few months. This note is to invite you to participate in a new, online phase in our work to develop “Circles.”

We’re starting not only with a group of stars, but with a group that really wants to see Circles happen. Many of you have reacted to the idea the way Lanham did, “That would be an awesome gift for the world.” In moving our conversations from 1:1 to group format, I’m cooking with some of the ingredients that we’re going to use in Circles itself. Your rich and diverse experiences with this subject will help us learn the easy way and avoid mistakes. Your involvement generates social pressure that will help me stay in gear. And I’m looking forward to hearing your exchanges with each other as much as I’m happy to have this ideal audience for thinking out loud.

Publishing these pre-launch discussions in the open, online, is an experiment in transparency. Just like that time I ran naked across the park. I’m a little uncomfortable putting all this work out there, and some of you have advised against it. But I want to bake transparency into Circles from the start. If our purpose is to make a wide impact, let’s encourage collaboration and even imitation. While I’m also excited to build a great organization, that should be subordinate to the mission.

Eventually, I’m going to widen this circle. I’ll specifically invite many practitioners that use small groups in one way or another. Those that are interested in our conversations may end up being contributors, challengers, collaborators, customers, friends. Thanks, Bre, zen master of social media, for encouraging me to document from the start.

There are many questions to tackle. These aren’t quick decisions. For example:

My plan is to share some writing about these questions, the results of our test circles, and relevant bits that float across the Internet. I look forward to learning from what you share back here in the comments of blog posts.