Reflection 4


When we set about embarking on a process that would help us to move the call to ‘transformation in mission’ I felt both relieved and excited. Relieved because I believed we would find a ‘way’ and excited because the concept of ‘transformation’ appeals to me at a very deep level. What the journey would be like didn’t matter. That we were setting out was what mattered. Two years on, I am enriched by walking a path that brought me to places I didn’t know existed and helped me to put language on what I knew intuitively.

Our formal education system teaches us to think in a linear, mathematical fashion. Our spiritual training has also been very linear, top down and controlling. The mindset that this has created led us to build institutions and organisations in a very controlled, hierarchical manner. And while there is always vision, conscious or unconscious, behind all that we create, and lots of good intention, it becomes lost in the world of ‘management’ which in turn colours and shapes all our endeavours to develop and change.

To see the world with all it’s potential and possibility through the ‘systems lens’ is a breath of fresh air and deeply connected with spirituality. And to see the organization to which I belong as a part of this wonderful world is both challenging and powerful. The Focus and Direction Process introduced me to this world and provided a map for the journey.

It was wonderful to sit with members of my group and explore well known experiences, language, desires, beliefs, hopes – all that underpins my life – in a way that got to the very heart of it. The process challenged me to think about the language I use, to examine the assumptions I live out of, to stretch my understanding and acceptance of the views of others. In other words the very process itself was calling me to transformation, to ‘deep change’. The same happened for the group.

This gave us the freedom to move from uniformity to unity of purpose which in turn unleashed a surge of very positive energy. The process deepened our awareness of the richness of working in an emergent way, that it is okay not to be ok! That we are on the journey is wonderful! The landscape of confusion, pain, light and darkness that we traversed led us to the clarity of our Focus and Direction statement. And again from a systems perspective, that this statement is in itself a living changing, evolving document serves to deepen our commitment to on-going reflection.

The five core values and sample behaviors are for me, the source of energy and direction for living into our Purpose statement. The process to name these really challenged us to get to the heart of what is important for us at this time in the history of our organisation. I realised that I live, work and think out of unconscious assumptions and beliefs and without knowing it, these can and did obstruct deep change from happening. They challenge me to be accountable – to myself, my organisation and to the world at large, they provide the compass for the journey and a way of measuring my fidelity to our Core Purpose.


Reflection 1
on embracing the chaos of change

Reflection 2
on the transforming effects of a systems perspective

Reflection 3
inspired to attempt big change

Reflection 4
the systems ‘lens’ - a breath of fresh air

Reflection 5
the relief and challenge of working systemically

Reflection 6
on creating internal cohesion on a large scale

Reflection 7
on learning from different perspectives

Reflection 8
from ‘fixing what's broken’ to ‘listening to patterns’

Reflection 9
confirmed and inspired by our own work

Reflection 10
really facing up to the challenge of change

changing the way
you change