Evolution can be seen as an improvisational dance, keeping the steps that work and changing those that don’t.
Elisabet Sahtouris

To resolve the problem of organisational change, we first need to understand the natural change processes that are embedded in all living systems... Understanding life means understanding its inherent change processes.
Fritjof Capra

The speed and scope of our crises is escalating, but our response is lagging because our approach to change comes from the same mindset that created the crises. We have to change the way we change.
dya | the culture challenge

The things people say!

"We engaged in a learning review because we didn’t want to have an expert coming in to do an objective diagnosis. We wanted to engage in a way that would involve all of us in learning together."

"Like no other piece of work we’ve done I feel we have actively changed in this process."

"This way of working is an idea whose time has come. People want to plan it out beforehand and don’t want the chaos and confusion. We’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work."

"Let’s face it, most evaluations are very similar. This is the first time people embarked on a process that asked them to put conventional approaches aside and to think differently, which in itself has been really beneficial."

"As our identity has become clearer we are more confident, and we’ve learnt to be more comfortable with each other. It is so much easier to work from a place of truth. We can even laugh at ourselves more openly now, and have come to enjoy our differences I think!"

culturework

cultivating life-centred,
values-based workplaces

Changing the way
you change

Learning History

The detached, third-person narratives that dominate organisational life and provide ‘objective’ accounts of what is going on or what happened, tidy up life’s messiness but reduce personal experience to anecdote.

To transform our organisational ‘machines’ and improve the world we live in, we have to rescue and recover our humanness and learn from our stories and our real-life experience.

We’ll partner our outsider perspective with your insider knowledge to help you create a learning narrative that will engage people in reflection on real-life experience and support meaningful, self-directed change. read more

Action Inquiry

Not so much a programme or a project, change is a process that happens over time as we disturb habitual patterns of thinking and behaving, and approach the issues we care about in new ways. In the deepest sense, change happens when people engage in personal renewal.

Action Inquiry creates a reflective space in the busyness of professional life where people can question their assumptions, explore issues of common concern, challenge each other to experiment with new behaviours, and learn their way into the future.

We will help you to develop communities of inquiry in which the people who co-create the system discover together how to change it. read more

If you’re interested in how change happens, the best case study on earth is Earth itself. A thirteen billion year change programme that transformed a chaotic, chemical soup into a creative, abundant Eden, teeming with life. A kaleidoscope of countless species elegantly adapted to each other and to their environment.

How did it happen? How did an entire planet achieve such spectacular success without a change team, an implementation strategy, or a schedule of milestones and deliverables?

Nature’s way

Life emerges from the bottom up, through a process of complex co-operation and co-evolution, and the outcome isn’t the result of a plan, it’s the result of a particular way of working.

It works from where it is and improvises with what’s available. It learns from mistakes and happy accidents and becomes more complex and intelligent by creating more relationships. It survives change by constantly changing.

When you appreciate how living systems change, it’s not surprising that traditionally managed change ‘programmes’ so often fail to deliver and frequently leave the organisation they were intended to improve, weaker and more vulnerable.

In a living system, change isn’t a once-off project, it’s a way of being. It’s never a linear process with predetermined steps and stages. Like jazz, it’s a creative, spontaneous improvisation around a theme, one piece of the future finding another, gathering momentum.

Working the way life works

If we were to take our cue from Nature, we’d drop our notions of change projects and embrace the concept of ongoing renewal. We’d put aside our faith in grand plans and learn to trust in something deeper. We’d leave the safe waters of our comfort zone and take more risks.

We’d be more flexible and tolerant of the chaos of change so that we can discover something new. And we’d let go of our fears and grow easy with uncertainty by developing our human capacity to live skilfully in a changing world.

In this transitional time, between the fading old and the emerging new, everyone is working at the edge of the future and for everyone, the way is unclear and uncertain. We’ll build the bridge as we walk on it, thinking and learning together in new ways, asking questions we don’t usually ask, talking with people we don’t usually talk with, collaborating with people we don’t usually collaborate with. This is how culture changes, naturally. And this is the work of our time.

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. Bringing the principles of living systems into an everyday context we will help you to develop an emergent approach to personal and organisational renewal - to change the way you change.

We will support you in cultivating learning communities engaged in meaningful, self-directed change, using leading-edge development processes such as the Learning History and Action Inquiry - both powerful ways of anchoring conversation around real experience.