My growing interest in the stages of human consciousness and curiosity about how the center I’m most closely involved in can evolve, inspires me in many ways…
The Guest Department (GD) co-ordinates approx 100 core programs within the Findhorn Foundation (FF) each year, and makes a significant contribution to the educational income. Experience Week is the ideal introduction to the rhythms and principles of the community for first time visitors and can be followed by either Being in Community or a Spiritual Practice week. These are the first steps on the transformational journey that can lead to being an agent of social change, either as a Staff Member within the FF or out in the world, though personal and spiritual growth.
As part of the annual budget process and the ongoing sustainability of the Foundation, last year the GD was asked to increase guest numbers. I felt motivated by this throughout the year and the goal encouraged me to explore – who are we as a team, what is being asked of us and how can we gracefully fulfil this? Proud of what we achieved under challenging circumstances and to more fully understand the journey, I wrote a reflective paper.
This grew out of our organic marketing plan and is based on the framework of Spiral Dynamics Integral; Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations (2014) and Global Coaching Group. It follows on from recent posts around this theme you can view here and assumes an initial understanding of the model. The video below is an ideal introduction.
Reflections on the Findhorn Foundation Guest Department
Operating as a Self Managing Holon in 2016 with Teal Characteristics
I believe this kind of map can help us track our vital signs, both as teams and within a center as a whole, and help us develop optimal wellbeing within our culture. To really fulfil our purpose and potential in the world we need to thrive and there are many elements involved.
Healthy beige – Grounding
- Maintaining connection with the physical for the team and guests – looking after equipment and updating as required, food and accommodation that aligns with our values of care for people and planet
- Development of consciousness with everyday practical actions and behaviours
Healthy purple – family and ritual
- Honouring the rituals and thresholds of the FF in balance with the needs of other levels
- Creating of a safe, secure and welcoming space for the team, co-workers and guests
- Encouragement of a mutually supportive family work ethic
Healthy red – power and self-expression
- Motivation for continuing professional development
- Recognition of the value of personal expertise and the expertise of other team members
- Courage and encouragement to take measured risks and practically test new approaches
- Seeing mistakes as learning opportunities
- Encouragement of measured self-expression as being part of a healthy team
- Maintenance of personal and team boundaries
- Natural autonomy as a team and self managing principles with weekly attunement
Healthy blue – structure and order
- Solid methodological approach to updating procedures, systems, manuals etc.
- Valuing the benefits of rules, regulations and structure for personal, team and organisational functioning
- Clear roles within the team – stability and experience
- Understands and fulfils its contribution to the FF within existing structures
- Minimal need for process – balance of team bonding and task focus
- Focus on detail – weekly guest numbers/income – combined with long term strategy
- Flow of communication with interconnected holons (eg. the Bookings Team and Program Co-ordination and Liaison)
Healthy orange – achievement
- Motivation to be effective, efficient and successful generating income from ethically sound activities (profit with purpose)
- Focaliser inspiring the team to be the best it can be and reach goals set
- Spirit of collaboration with co-worker body and wider community
- Engaging with the true spirit of sport – the fun and dynamism of taking part as a player in a team
- Natural innovation – seeking to learn from other leaders in the field to evolve beyond current practices
- Accepted accountability and responsibility for GD income
- Accepted leadership in relation to task
Healthy green – community
- Motivation for harmony and belonging through team bonding week, weekly attunements (meditation, sharing, business, and supervision when requested)
- Shared contemplation/shadow work – Gene Keys – minimal energy lost in process
- Focus on culture and empowerment to bring our unique gifts to the whole
- Embody founding practices of the FF
- Invested in well being of the FF as a whole
- Focaliser led by inclusive decision making practices and communication flow
- Team members highly appreciative and supportive of each other
- Flexibility of working hours
Healthy teal – integrating, functionality and efficiency
- Awareness and discernment of the light and shadow aspects of all previous levels and a commitment to embody this perception as a sensor for the FF as a Center of Love and Light
- Intuitive approach to focaliser role that integrates the healthy aspects of all previous levels
- Continual Personal Development – the journey is never over
- Explored its creative potential, expanded beyond traditional GD focaliser role
- Engagement in the FF Education Revisioning process – listening to our evolutionary purpose
- Trusting in expertise rather than everyone having to be involved in every decision
Expression of Teal Breakthroughs
Ken Wilber describes the first six levels as ‘subsistence levels’ marked by ‘first-tier thinking. Then there occurs a revolutionary shift in consciousness: the emergence of ‘being levels’ and ‘second-tier thinking.’ In Laloux’s book he explains the three key breakthroughs of second tier consciousness also known as teal and we explored how these express themselves within the team.
Self Management Practices
- Self organizing team – minimal support needed from line manager
- Fluid roles instead of formal job-descriptions – shared responsibility
- Hierarchies form and exist in relation to task and then rest back down in the group on task completion
- Decision making fully decentralized based on advice process – focaliser embraced personal authority and researched/communicated as needed
- Transparent focused information sharing – all team members can contribute to mini minutes via shared google document
- Conflict resolution process – minimal required, Spiritual and Personal Development team available for supervision to support growth and evolution
- Focus on team performance, peer-based process for individual appraisals – all team members engaged in annual self reflective review
- Self-decorated and warm meeting spaces
- Clear values translated into explicit ground rules plus ongoing discussion on values
- Meditation practices, team supervision, peer coaching, group reflection practices
- Storytelling practices to support self-disclosure and build community
- Absence of job titles and job descriptions to allow selfhood to shape roles
- Honest discussion about individual time commitments (work vs. play)
- Regular time devoted to address conflicts
- Specific meeting practices to keep ego in check so that everybody’s voice is heard
- Integrity as yardstick: What is the right thing to do?
- Recruitment interviews by future co-workers, focus on fit with FF and purpose
- Significant training in relational skills and in FF culture for onboarding
- Personal freedom and responsibility for training, focus on culture-building training
- Personal inquiry into one‘s learning journey and calling
- Caring support to turn challenges into a learning opportunity
Evolutionary Purpose Practices
- GD seen as a living entity with its own evolutionary purpose
- Strategy emerges organically from collective intelligence of self-managing team
- Meditation and attunement practices to listen into the organization’s purpose
- The concept of competition is irrelevant – FF is unique in its offering to the world
- Growth and market share only significant inasmuch as they help achieve purpose
- Guest numbers will naturally increase when the culture is on purpose
- Inside out marketing and product development: offer is defined by purpose
- Sense and respond – proactive approach to planning/budgeting etc.
- Change no longer a topic because team constantly adapts from within
- Conscious sensing of what mood would serve the organization’s purpose
- Recruitment, training and appraisals used to explore juncture of individual calling and organizational purpose
Spiralling into Teal – Where to Start?
A key step is recognising the current landscape and the following recommendations can be helpful:
- Management/Leaders hold self evaluation of teams
- Explore if you see the world through a teal lens
- Listen to what best suits the organization’s needs and be open to available technologies that specifically meet those needs
- Focus on one teal breakthrough initially – self management, wholeness or evolutionary purpose – as living organizations change in increments introduce the others next
Invitation to reflect as a Team
- What are the basic assumptions you hold about people and about work?
- Is what you are doing in line with your basic assumptions?
- What worldview does your center have?
- On what consciousness level does your center act?
- If the level is e.g. green is it a healthy or unhealthy green?
- On what level of consciousness does your CEO/ED/Board/Managers act?
- What is your centers’ evolutionary purpose?
- What obstacles can you honestly see against Teal inside yourself?
- What is your ego saying right now to all of this?
- What fears/worries/concerns are getting triggered?
- What longing/desire/pull do you feel triggered inside yourself towards teal?
- Teams ready to become self managing write a Business Plan for the coming year
Integral View offer insightful profiling based on spiral dynamics, that can be applied to individuals, teams and cultures and help guide an evolutionary plan. In addition to the above exercise, you can participant in online questionnaires followed by in-depth analysis with a trained coach. I’ll share more about our experience with this in a future post.
Your feedback and questions are welcome to help make this article as accessible as possible.