Last week Adaptive Cultures launched its first practitioner program, a vision which had been gestating for over 5 years.
The group who came together for our inaugural workshop was a mix of leaders and culture practitioners from a range of organisations and included leaders from private, public and not for profit sectors.
Aside from equipping leaders and practitioners with adaptive skills and methodologies, the intention of the Adaptive Cultures practitioner program is to build a community of practice for those working in this space. The reason a community of practice is essential is to enable culture practitioners to encourage, challenge and inspire each other on what can at times be a lonely journey.
Community brings up different associations for all of us. In our past experiences, communities of positive intent have often been eroded by subtle or overt competition and ego which have dispersed the positive potential of the group.
In considering how to build a powerful, global community for leaders and culture practitioners, a core question has been “how can we provide the best possible conditions for this community to magnify its positive potential?”
At this stage on the journey, the community has far surpassed this goal. In reflection on what has enabled this, we would like to provide some ideas that may support others with similar aims.
Some of the factors which may have contributed:
- A very clear intention and aspiration for the community which included boundaries of acceptable behaviour, demonstration of prior capacity and holding a higher purpose for the work.
- An application process with participant interviews to ensure the above and additionally a willingness to go on a journey of personal development, expose one’s vulnerabilities and explore the unknown.
- Diversity and common ground. The group who came together had enough diversity to provide a variety of perspectives and challenge each other, along with substantial common ground in shared values and purpose. This allowed for a powerful level of connection and mutual support.
- No compromise. Often commercial interests of “bums on seats” erode intention. We agreed that we would prefer the community to consist of a small number of people who aligned powerfully to the intention, rather than a larger group with members who did not.
- Rather than a hotel or corporate training venue, we brought the group together in an ambient, nature inspired venue, encouraging people to show up as humanly as possible, in a human-centred environment.
We were blown away by the quality of the individuals who turned up, their capacity for demonstrating wisdom and compassion and the deep connections that were formed. One of the key themes was how isolating it can be to lead change. While it is important for each of us to build “coalitions of the willing” in our own organisational change efforts, of equal importance is a strong support network outside our organisations. This can provide care and encouragement on the journey whilst sharing a vision of organisational cultures which liberate human potential.
Our next Adaptive Cultures Practitioner Accreditation journey starts in March 2018. If you are a leader or culture practitioner passionate about cultural evolution and would like to join the Adaptive Cultures community, please register your interest here.