2018: Appreciation, Affirmation and Awe

As our year comes to its close we have much to celebrate, so many good news stories for friends and colleagues, including our courageous and committed clients and the wonderfully gifted Oasis staff and practitioners. One way or another, each and every one, seeking a better world for all.

The thrilling – every day we are thrilled to be working alongside such great organisations and business as North Star Housing Group, voted ‘No 1 Housing Association’ in the UK by their peers, and Bettys and Taylors Group who have just been awarded ‘Board of the Year’, along with the on-going recognition for their contributions to their international communities and those nearer to home. Engage Interactive continue to amaze their clients and have been named one of the UK’s top digital agencies, and Karbon Homes is setting standards for Parent Polices, winning Best HR Policy, and an innovation award for construction of ‘Husk’ homes.

The innovative – we recognise the organisations helping employees to thrive, and who are part of the Oasis Resilience and Wellbeing (RAW) Network. These pioneering and often award-winning companies, from Skipton Building Society to Leeds Federated Housing, from Brook Babes to MSV, and professional services such as Plump Digital, Hartlaw and Not Just Numbers, leave us in awe of all they are doing to pilot and discover ‘good’ practices that develop a workplace of tomorrow where people really matter.

The courageous – it’s not always easy to face into the agonies and ecstasies that accompany real professional and personal development, yet that is exactly what hundreds of individuals have decided to do at Oasis through 2018.

Developing each person to be able to do their best work is being called for by many businesses and public services. The need to nurture collaboration, agility, tolerance, empowerment and responsible leadership is ever more prescient. We take our hats off to all those who have given so much to their individual learning, to be able to gain so much in return. Whether becoming a more effective practitioner with groups and teams, seeking to bring out the best in individuals, developing whole organisations or building confidence in their own inherent capabilities, we learn from, and value the relationships that are at the core of our work together.

We celebrate the risks, the laughter, the decisions, the peer-ness, the tough times, and the personal rewards that participants and mentoring clients have lived through and learned from, in order to be more conscious, more confident and better equipped for the uncertainties and unpredictabilities of the future.

The partnerships – we are shaped and influenced by who we connect with, and this is a great opportunity to express our appreciation for the support and friendship of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, Windsor Castle Leadership Dialogue, Foresight, Institute of Family Business, Association of Coaching, Warriors for the Human Spirit, Kin&Co, and our advisors.

The relational – Oasis continues to learn to understand and work with the visible and invisible dynamics alive within the person, the team, the organisation and the community. Everything is in relationship, and it is the nature of relationship, whether to a person or a system that imbues our practice.

The work is not easy, nor would we expect it to be. It takes each Oasis practitioner years to develop their craft, whether as a one-to-one developer, a group facilitator or a whole system change agent. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime’s vocation in becoming an ‘instrument of change’. Wanting to be a helper comes with its demands, but the rewards of travelling alongside another, whether a person or an organisation, and seeing them work with their own questions, and find freedom, unique responses, new options and potential transformation is a true privilege. We celebrate all human relations practitioners and internal change agents, and wish them tenacity, insight and courage for the work of learning and development.

The fragility of life – for everyone involved with Oasis, it has been a hard working year, one that is marked by magical moments, meaningful conversations, dispiriting events on the world stage, life-affirming acts, fierce dialogue, good company, great food and opportunities to become more of who we are or want to be. And amidst all there is to celebrate we have also met sadness, shocks and stressful times. We hope that in some small way being part of the Oasis Village has been sustaining. Over the year we have said goodbye to beloved friends and an Oasis mentor. This is another opportunity to name and celebrate the lives of people who have supported Oasis, our practitioners and our staff in such important ways – Vanessa Greenwood, Paul Bradbrook and Mario van Boeschoten. Our love and thoughts continue to be with their families.

Finally we wish you much joy and happiness for however you may celebrate this time of year, and a 2019 filled with new learning, health and opportunities to give and receive the small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that help remind us of our shared humanity.

Nick, Marion and Glyn

The Directors Group

The Oasis School of Human Relations

December 2018