Five key insights from Adaptive Cultures Practitioners

perspectives Aug 24, 2017

The irony of many culture models and practises is that static change models are applied within the context of a dynamic and changing world. If we accept that the world is constantly changing and evolving, the implication is that we need to find a way for organisations, as well as individuals, to constantly develop and grow in order to meet the challenges these changes present.

In order to support culture practitioners in this journey, the Adaptive Cultures accreditation takes into account the context of constant and dynamic change and evolution and invites practitioners into an inner and outer exploration of the methods and ways of being that these demand.

Below are 5 key insights of our current practitioner group:

The methods take complexity into account

Rather than presenting simple best practise tools, the accreditation journey supports leaders and culture practitioners to develop the inner resourcefulness required to work effectively through complexity. Alongside developing the inner resources, the methodologies provided take complexity into account rather than offering a “one size fits all” approach. Although it can be nice to be given easy tick box processes, each organisational context is unique and while principles are common, processes and timing of application of methods need to adapt to an organisation’s environment.

Transforming ourselves may be the best intervention to transform our systems

Several participants shared that they could see more clearly how their behaviours, mindsets and actions (or inactions) contributed to the “challenges” they were facing into. As Joseph Campbell once said, ““We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” This can be discomforting (I have some work to do) and it can be highly energising (I can influence the culture journey through who I am becoming and how I show up, each and every moment).

Creating support inside and outside the system

Culture practitioners often work in complex, high paced environments where there is little appreciation or understanding for the intricacies of culture work. Such environments can feel lonely and overwhelming. Establishing a coalition of people inside the organisation is essential for creating an approach capable of transforming the system. Having an external network to maintain perspective and provide a sounding board is also essential.

Reflection in the age of distraction

With the fast pace and constant change we are facing into, time to reflect and learn is often non-existent or cut short. The irony is that to be more effective in the face of change, reflection and learning are essential. Daily rituals or processes for reflection that fit into participant’s schedules are critical to success.

Higher purpose held with passionate non-attachment

Participants in our programs recognise and align to a higher purpose for their work. They express the capacity to see the larger systems that they are part of, and notice how intentional action can lead to constructive change with ripple effects. A key question to clarify higher purpose may be: “How do we take action that serves seven generations?”

Alignment to purpose needs to be balanced with a realisation and appreciation that holding purpose too tightly may restrict the capacity to align to a higher purpose.

All practitioners in our network are deeply passionate about their work. The price of deep passion can be suffering when we see that our desired outcomes are a long way from being achieved and so many things in our environment or organisation may prevent progress. The challenge, and opportunity, becomes how we can practice passionate non-attachment. This is the state of being that can help us to patiently and purposefully support, lead and guide the cultural evolution of our organisations.

The Adaptive Cultures Accreditation provides an opportunity for leading culture practitioners to share their key insights and experiences on what is necessary in order to establish and embed culture transformation or evolution. We would love to hear from other practitioners – what practices make the biggest difference to you and your work in cultural evolution or transformation?

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