Processes and Skills
What might happen if we treated people and organisations as if they are alive and intelligent?
The evidence shows that ordinary people working together in well-designed conversational infrastructures can create better results than an elite corps working inside a poorly designed process.
Our conversations matter.
The ideal approach to the issues you want to address doesn’t exist.
When we design a conversational process, context is king.
No two situations are the same.
We draw upon our eclectic experience and a repertoire of approaches and disciplines that all share an underlying ethic – the principles and values of living systems.
Then we adopt, adapt, blend or invent to craft a response that’s unique to you, your context and your need.
Seeing Systems, Seeing Ourselves is an accessible and energising introduction to the intelligence of life and the principles of living systems. It challenges people to rethink pretty much everything they do. And it offers them a new lens and language to think about people and organisations, power and leadership, problems and solutions, and how change really happens.
World Café is a conversational process based on a set of design principles, the disciplined use of questions and the cross-pollination of ideas and people. It’s a simple but powerful process, rooted in the belief that conversation matters, that we make meaning through dialogue, and that we can only generate higher levels of intelligence if we’re engaged in high quality talking.
Appreciative Inquiry is the practical application of positive psychology and strengths-based management. It’s a philosophy and a practice rooted in the belief that words create worlds. That we move towards what we think and talk about. That our conversations matter. And the more hopeful our questions and conversations, the more positive the outcome.
A Future Search is a principle-based, structured, task-focused planning meeting that helps people explore a complex issue, find common ground, create strategies and agree action plans. Quickly! It gets the ‘whole system’ into the same room – people with different perspectives and experiences, all with a stake in the outcome – to build a shared vision and a commitment to take action.
A Learning History is an action research methodology whose purpose is to help people reflect on and learn from an experience and share that learning with a wider audience. Sometimes undertaken by an ‘outsider’, sometimes a collaborative learning process undertaken by an insider/ outsider team, it captures many points of view. The final artifact presents a nuanced, complex story of events.
Focus and direction
Focus and Direction is a rigorous facilitated group process that engages participants in an exacting search for clarity of mission and vision, with supporting values and behaviours as a basis for cultural cohesion and appropriate discretionary behaviour. Clarity of purpose and direction releases pent-up energy and revitalises the everyday experience in the workplace.
Culture Mapping moves the conversation about values and culture from aspirational to practical and actionable, by providing a comprehensive picture of the shape your culture’s in right now, what changes are needed and where. It provides a solid basis for the kind of generative conversations through which individuals, teams and organisations can learn, develop and evolve.
Stories bypass rhetoric and pierce the heart. Storytelling has long been part of our communication and organisational work. These days we use story as an organisational intervention. In workshops designed around specific issues we combine the power of biographical storytelling with the power of conversation to create a space where people can explore deeper truths.
Open Space is a highly interactive event organised around a specific issue, where the agenda is shaped entirely by the participants. It’s a simple way to convene a meaningful conversation and support self-organised action. It works best when there’s a pressing need, diverse participants with multiple perspectives, and a willingness to respond to what emerges with action.
Action Research is a learning approach to development and change that invites us to examine and reflect on our own work and practice, consider why we do what we do, and how we might improve it. Along with its own distinct practices it’s a kind of mothership whose core values of democracy, participation and agency are the DNA that permeates our CultureWork repertoire.
Whatever your task, we can help you work in a way that…
welcomes everyone's contribution
invites deeper, more thoughtful conversations
explores different perspectives
helps cross-pollinate ideas and people
encourages people to work together in new ways
supports self-organised, sustainable change
If this strikes a chord, let’s talk.