Envisioning with teams & organisations

I felt inspired by working together in 2020 with the Leadership Team from NGO ‘Smile and Olive’. As a ‘Culture First’ organisation they have embraced their mission statement and culture as a second nature. Remember: ‘A good team survives a bad product. But a good product doesn’t survive a bad team.’ (Michel Akkermans)

VISION BUILDING BLOCKS

Any team (‘meso’) or organisation (‘macro’) can benefit now by ‘slowing down to go much faster’. It’s one of the principles I adopt in everything I do with groups, teams and individual coachees. 
Or do we continue ‘being busy by being busy’?

‘Slowing down to go much faster’ from the perspective of different vision building blocks: 

  • mission => sample question:  ‘how has our reason of existing changed as an organisation / as a team?’  
  • strategic goals => sample question: ‘what are audacious goals we should be focusing on the coming x months?’ 
  • roles => sample question: ‘who will be doing what differently?’ 
  • processes => sample question: ‘how will we improve our meeting efficiency?’
  • interaction / values / culture => sample question: ‘how can we create a culture of permanent feedback?’


The role of leadership, to some extent collective, is to ensure that the vision building blocks above are not only debated one-off, but continue to stay a team and organisational topic.  

And: clear communication is not the same as meaningful communication. The mission statement of your department can be intellectually understandable to all (= clear). But that doesn’t mean by default that all team members want to jump out of bed every morning and contribute to the mission (= meaningful).

Finally: vision building together with teams and organisations, I warmly recommend to work on the building blocks ‘mission’ and ‘interaction’ first. Please send me a personal message to discuss why.

CULTURE FIRST

‘Slowing down to go much faster’ was precisely how the Leadership Team from NGO Basmeh & Zeitooneh  – ‘Smile and Olive’ and I co-created change. Lebanon, Turkey and Belgium united in a limited number of online group sessions.

These leaders breathe the desire to empower individuals through working amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in Syria’s neighboring countries. 

I would like to call Smile and Olive a ‘Culture First’ organisation

Making an analogy with a private organisation a gazillion of times bigger in size: IKEA. Some weeks after the start of the lockdown, the company boldly announced a Culture First statement:

‘In challenging times like these, we are guided by our culture and values and people remain in the heart of everything we do. This is why will we take a huge leap investing and supporting our +166.000 colleagues’. (…)

Fluffy? Powerful, if you ask me.

Credible? Yes, provided they try and persist to truly live up to their promises.

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