for a world
in transition

a living systems approach to organisation and change

CultureWork is for people who know their organisation has to change at a deep level, and need a way of navigating the complex territory of culture. It applies the principles of living systems to the challenges of human systems because that is what they are: living systems.

Working this way shifts the intention from ‘delivering’ change to growing the organisation’s capacity to adapt and respond to change. It’s a bit like gardening: prepare the ground, nurture the conditions, respect nature’s principles, and things evolve - naturally. Like cultivating the soil, it’s a constant process.

The qualities that future-proof organisations such as flexibility, adaptability, innovation, collaboration and partnership, high levels of trust and ethical behaviour are all rooted in culture not in the mechanics of procedure or regulation. If you want to encourage these qualities, you have to dig deeper.

Five ways in

The CultureWork suite of practical processes opens five ‘doors’ in to the cultural space. Each a unique entry point with a different purpose. All leading to the same place.

insight Bringing a systemic perspective to how things work
directionChoosing a goal that is relevant and truly meaningful in the contemporary world
valuesAccessing the values that are shaping behaviour and making values-based leadership and decision-making the norm
relationshipParticipating, communicating and working together in ways that open the system to new possibilites
renewalChanging by learning what works for you, and what doesn’t

Doing something different

Culturework is based on the belief that people and organisations are not pieces on a gameboard to be manoeuvred, or ‘problems’ to be ‘fixed’ in the way we might tweak a machine to make it perform differently.

They’re complex, self-organising living systems governed by the principles of nature not the laws of mechanics, and they’re quite capable of changing and adjusting their own behaviour, when the conditions are right.

When good people find their system stuck and unresponsive, the problem usually isn’t ‘the people’ or ‘the system’ but the approach. A mechanistic mindset is at odds with a complex reality and its consequences can be counter-productive and even harmful.

The need for a different approach to the way we do things goes beyond the needs of organisations, because work has wider implications. Everyday choices and decisions echo in other places and other times. Work and society are nested inside one another so their health and well-being are intimately linked.

CultureWork is inspired by the possibility that institutions and organisations of all kinds can transform, so that work serves life and workplaces can make a positive difference in the world.

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