For anything to happen, there has to be a vision. For anything great to happen, there has to be a great vision.
Robert Greenleaf

Unless the distant goals of meaning, greatness and destiny are addressed, we can’t make an intelligent decision about what to do tomorrow morning - much less set a strategy for a company, or for a human life.
Peter Koestenbaum

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Anita Roddick

Nations and peoples are largely the stories they feed themselves. If they tell themselves stories that face their own truths, they will free their own histories for future flowerings.
Ben Okri

The process of finding a new Story shifts the conversation from the surface questions of What? and When? to deeper questions of Who?, Why? and How?: Who are we? Why are we here at this moment in time? And how are we going to fulfil our purpose in the world? These questions have the potential to transform those who answer them.
dya | the culture challenge

The things people say!

"Ive been in this organisation for thirty years, and for the first time, I know why Im here. I feel such a sense of excitement."

"We asked ourselves What are we doing? in response to the complexity and the depth of the work. Now were so much clearer on what the project is about, what it actually does, and what its meant to do."

"Wed just assumed that we were in agreement about where we were going, but we discovered we werent! Having a clear and shared purpose has created a different energy among us. Its like everybody has come alive. And after choosing and working on our core values, the energy level increased even more."

culturework

for a world
in transition

Changing the story
that shapes the work

Focus & Direction

Focus & Direction is a rigorous group process designed to guide participants to a deep sense of purpose and meaning.

In a series of facilitated 1-day workshops arranged to allow space for personal reflection between sessions, contradiction, difference and convergence are explored in an exacting search for clarity of mission and vision and supporting values, as a basis for cohesion and appropriate discretionary behaviours in the contemporary world. read more

At the heart of every living system, is a ‘story’. A Big Idea about identity, purpose and direction. In human systems the story gives meaning to life. Without it, life is meaningless.

An organisation needs a clearly articulated statement of purpose around which to organise, build cohesion and unite people in common cause. The story shapes organisational life in subtle ways. Values flow from it, decisions and actions are filtered through it. It helps to make meaning for employees wherever they are, and when the story’s shared it acts as a compass keeping everything and everyone on track.

The organisation's story is captured in the combination of mission and vision - words that can send many an executive running for cover. Too 'soft' or whimsical, or perhaps too challenging for the rational mind? But the mission is simply a clear declaration of what you do - the purpose of it all - and the vision is the long-term compelling goal that motivates people and inspires them to keep reaching for the future. Story is as important as the destination board on the bus: People need to know where they’re going.

A new story is needed

The Big Idea that dominates our culture and our institutions today is the story of growth based on a belief that more and more consumption is central to human happiness, which means everything has to grow: productivity, markets, audiences, exports, yields, sales, margins.... everything has to keep on growing.

But this idea has led the world into a cul-de-sac. Human activity is overwhelming natural rhythms and causing a level of ecological and social decline that challenges the current model and the accepted notions about human well-being.

Of course, growth is essential to life. However, Nature teaches us that the only growth that’s sustainable is growth within boundaries, and that the only sustainable way of ‘doing business’ is to meet your needs by providing a valuable service to the wider eco-system. That’s Life!

Finding our fit

Society urgently needs to change direction. And the key to that is a change of direction in the institutions that frame the choices that shape our culture. More and more people want the organisations they support with their custom or their labour to be more responsible citizens, better stewards of the planet, and more deeply involved in the search for solutions to the serious social and ecological problems that threaten to disrupt life in ways we can scarcely imagine.

The ‘business-as-usual’ model stands in the way of this values shift. Those that are consciously re-orienting their core purpose in a new direction are still small in number, however every organisation needs to identify a new direction and a new purpose for a new time. They must find their evolutionary ‘fit’.

The case for positive change is compelling, and those who have begun to align their work with the emerging future are finding it an exciting place. An uncrowded territory, awash with opportunity and reward.

Sometimes, all that’s needed to have a new idea, is to stop having an old one! When our story changes, the world changes.

CultureWork: what we do

The CultureWork suite of processes is a unique resource designed to support the work of transition in organisations and in the community.

Focus & Direction is a powerful process that helps groups and organisations of all kinds to discover and articulate an inspiring purpose that is meaningful, relevant and future-proof.

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