Many of us have heard the famous story from the children’s classic book Alice in Wonderland. Alice came to a fork in the road. She saw a cat on a tree and asked: ‘Which road do I take?’ ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire cat. ‘I don’t know’, Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘It doesn’t’ matter.’
What a great reminder to us all to open our hearts and minds and put some serious thought into what our vision for the future actually is. This happens frequently with my clients when they get stuck, because they haven’t given any thought to what they truly want. Conversely, other clients have an inspiring and bold vision for the future, yet think ‘I am not good enough to manifest this’ or ‘I do not deserve it’ and just throw it somewhere in a dusty corner of their mind, unpolished and not nurtured, sometimes on the cusp of the very moment they were about to break through.
It takes self-love, courage and deep thought to take time out and do the vision work. Having a crystal-clear vision is an essential part of individual and organisational CORE work. Let me put it this way. Your crystal-clear vision is your North Star, not only in good times, but especially when life presents its challenges.
I’d like to tell you a story, of a team which is inspired and committed to the CORE work, and wants to drive their organization to a place exuding organisational happiness, fulfilment, and sustainable success based on innovation. In other words, to thrive.
I started coaching this team early this year, when they were at a place where they felt they needed clarity, unity (the collective inspirational force of a united and well-aligned organisation) and engagement of the whole organisation in order to expand and purposefully grow. So we embarked on that journey.
Starting out, we needed to reflect on where the organization currently is, and take note of the anchors of such a transformational project. Based on thorough initial diagnostics, we gained awareness of not only where the organization was, but also that inspiration and alignment of the whole company can only happen if there is crystal-clear vision and purpose. In other words, clarity allows focus.
Having been a coach myself for the last seven years, I knew only too well of the power of having faith in a leader or team to find their own solutions by tapping into their own inner wisdom. So, my role was to create a safe environment where they could open up, be daring, courageous and interconnected. Naturally, after some self reflection, they decided that the first goal of their team, which we called the transformational team, would be to create a crystal-clear vision for the organisation. Feeling good with this decision, together we started the journey.
It took us over 10 hours of deep reflective work to come up with the Vision Canvas, a simple yet powerful manifestation of their honest and committed labor. They could never have imagined at the outset that this process would take so many hours of work just to produce a one-page document, which was so bold, inspirational and meaningful to them.
What does it take for a team to slow down and commit time to do deep reflective work? Why is this work so important?
Recently, Simon Tyler espoused in episode 3 ‘Simplicity and Attitude create Impact’ of my Thrive on Purpose podcast series about ‘Urgentia’. He describes this as our conditioning to react to what comes in our lives as urgent, when it is oftentimes not important. This means that we are often in the position of fire fighters rather than builders.
Happily, with the aforementioned transformational team, they came to the realisation of the importance to slow down and to reflect, and they made the leap to be a builder of a happy and sustainable future. They chose to focus, deliberately, on what is important and not on what is urgent.
When asking them ‘What really worked well in our sessions?’, what stood out in their responses was their description of an environment where they felt safe to say what they really think, of equality (that everyone is really heard and has a voice in shaping the future of the company), and respect, and that they discovered how to appreciate each other more.
Such work of conscious co-creation of an organisational CORE is the pathway to thriving. Further, for an organisation to be sustainable in such a journey, it needs to be wholeheartedly committed to it.
Do you feel that your organisation is ready to embark on a journey to, what I describe as, the Thrive Space? If the answer is yes, do not hesitate to connect with us (or contact me) at www.thrivingleadership.net
Author: Elena Hinova