There needs to be time to reflect, recognition of underused potential, stepping away from the tyranny of the urgent, a fierce and trusted peer, and a still small voice within that quietly and gently calls for a better world for those to come.Nick EllerbyCo-Director, Oasis
Is it just that we need a constant reminder that something really doesn’t work? Maybe it’s only the pain of recognising something really doesn’t work that can stimulate a desire for change.
For me real change is not about some new whizzy answer or a series of integrated parallel phases being managed through a techy project system – it goes much deeper if it is to go beyond superficial tinkering and just re-creating what we have already got under a different title.
Over twenty years of working in small groups of between 8 and 18 people leads me to recognise that if in the process of meeting there can be a paradigm shift – some experience, moment, process, or realisation that can influence or change a person’s worldview – and the person embeds this in a different internal framework in their own life, then the ecology around them, whether organisation, community or family, has the potential for far reaching and authentic change.
For this shift to happen, those involved need to go beyond the surface, beyond a recognition of awareness (that planet and people are interconnected for instance), beyond some complex model of change (because just knowing is not enough), beyond discussion of alternatives (this new model or that approach from over there), to a deeper catalysing of future possibilities (a step into imagination), whilst internalising a genuine grasp of taking personal responsibility (rather than handing it on to other stakeholders) and inducing the necessity for meaningful action.
This approach only works when I grasp that what is called for is not some narrow approach to the person and the organisation (that just keeps us in a prison busying ourselves with moving the furniture around to simulate a sense of freedom and choice), but one that sees the whole person, leader, practitioner, colleague as an autonomous individual with both power and influence, committed to the belief that change is indispensable, starts with oneself, and requires genuine meeting with the other.
To engage with such an approach there needs to be time to reflect, recognition of underused potential, stepping away from the tyranny of the urgent, a fierce and trusted peer, and a still small voice within that quietly and gently calls for a better world for those to come.
When Oasis was developed as ‘a fertile spot in the desert’ it was to provide a space for transformational change to be possible. A change that takes courage and commitment – both of which can be a scarce commodity and yet go to the heart of what many recognise is needed. A space that helps provide such an opportunity and also to develop the skills and ability to provide such a space for others, helping develop their own ‘Oasis’ in their organisation or community.
Shift does happen – and more than ever courage and commitment are welcome contributors for what is a risky and demanding path that helps shape a better world through being more of a whole person.
If this resonates with you, and you are interested in deepening the shift for yourself and your organisation – I would love to hear your story and find a way of connecting more people who are shifting to a more whole person approach.