Working as a team within an organisation seems simple…right?! Develop an organisational goal, bring together the right people, assign the roles and go… the reality however, is more often than not, quite different. Why? Because each of us comes with our personality, behaviours, bias and ego which all impact on how we relate to each other. Our worldviews, values and beliefs can influence how we perceive each other’s intent and in some instances can create subtle underlying power dynamics. Organisational culture is often blamed on leadership and leaders often seen as being tyrannical, passive aggressive, evasive or dismissive – or in some instances idealised as servant leaders. There’s also the classic power dynamic in play or perhaps we should more appropriately classify it as ego … nobody likes to admit it but most of us in this conditioned world believe we need to control certain parts of the experience in order for it to work. As a team, we have been learning to let go of the need for control, leaving the ego’s at the door and working together to co-construct an authentic way of learning together.
We are working hard to peel back the layers of our perceived lens of ‘rightness’ to re-remember our humanness – none of us are getting out of this world alive better or worse off than the other – by holding respect and mutuality instead of difference and diversity at the centre, we think we are getting better at building on our collective wisdom instead of our isolated speciality.
So in learning our way through what good organisational culture looks and feels like, we have observed some principles that are helping us as a team to take responsibility for our individual and collective roles. We are learning more about ourselves – our blinkers (what we think we do and what we actually do) – and how we can be better at working together in the true sense of collaboration, collectivity, and shared responsibility. It doesn’t just happen – it takes time, effort and careful negotiation! Taking the time to get to know one another outside of our projects has been key in understanding and celebrating our various characteristics and how we best support each other to grow and learn.
Cultivating a culture of kindness – may seem like a cliché, but is an often taken for granted practice in a world that is always pushing for more outputs, greater impact and that celebrates being busy and doing more – not always with better outcomes. The more responsibility and pressure we put on ourselves and each other unsurprisingly has a dramatically negative impact on productivity. Working within a space of innovation and creativity means that we need freedom to feel into the future and what we call the ‘spaces of the unknown’. This means we need to do less better and with a focus on the new rather than the old stuff which we know isn’t working. We have by no means got it right, but we are building a collective awareness that in order to do things differently we have to be different, act different and be willing to change – that is the first step.
For more information please contact Porsha: firstname.lastname@example.org