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.

Yet.

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 ethicthe 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 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 Cafe

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

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.

Future Search

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.

Learning History

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

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.

Storytelling

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

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

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…

increases participation

welcomes everyone's contribution

invites deeper, more thoughtful conversations

explores different perspectives

helps cross-pollinate ideas and people

strengthens relationships

encourages people to work together in new ways

supports self-organised, sustainable change

Testimonials

What People Say

Refreshing

“I really enjoyed being part of the Systems days and the Focus and Direction process. I found the systemic approach refreshing, challenging and clarifying. The World Café format for our meetings was very freeing and gave space for imagination, conversation, learning and transformation. The quality of the PowerPoint presentations was remarkable and contributed to the ease of learning. The power of storytelling was very evident and memorable for me….”

Treated As Adults

“I felt privileged to have been part of the group called to engage with this new process. This happened so seemingly easily during our first evening meeting… we were treated as valued guests. We were a group of adults, being met as such. It made a huge difference. Something creative was happening….”

Personal Approach

“I found your personal approach, your openness, broad cosmic perspective, excellent listening, documenting of the process, nonjudgemental approach, expertise in living systems and associated areas – and confidence that we could actually work out an alternative way of being – most helpful… You were most supportive of our efforts and most encouraging and challenging along the way…”

Life-giving

“As we worked together our way of working grew on me and I found it so life-giving, exciting and a practical experience of all the theory I had been reading about! Do. Reflect. Learn. Change. This really crystallised learning by doing for me, through loops and cycles, one step building on the other.”

If this strikes a chord, let’s talk.

 

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