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Oasis on the crest of a new year…

The directors have been wrapping up the year with two days together after a two day self and peer review process with core associates, and a day with staff and directors. This has been liberally sprinkled with a couple of festive meals and spirited conversations. And amidst all this there has been the sustained delivery of facilitation, counselling services, team and organisational development, as well as 1-to-1 work.

Looking back, October welcomed new employees at Oasis, and November was lit up by the birth of Tom, to Cathy Neligan and Simon. After making a significant contribution to the work of Oasis, we have said goodbye to John Gray and wish him well in his next chapter. Sadness marked August with the death of long term contributor, Judi Steel, and our thoughts continue to be with her friends and family.

Over the year what has emerged again and again is the sense of development and learning, the need for further capacity to thrive on what is coming towards us, and the ability to work with new challenges, whether related to complexity, the unexpected, the unpredictable or the demanding, and a delight in knowing we will never understand or control the whole.

We thought last year was full, but we now know that was only preparation for 2012. We have more invitations and partnerships than ever before, and exciting questions of capacity are being considered at every level. But rather than simply seeking more people committed to our approaches, we are addressing what we are developing through deeper connection, more integration and through more open and collaborative relationships. Earlier today we heard of similar experiences in one of our client organisations. Their stories of leadership being about relationship, resilience, willingness and modelling by example are inspiring. Being inspired by those we are fortunate enough to work alongside is part of the joy of our work, and stimulates new learning and possibility.

2012 has seen continued growth in our organisational work and we have been delighted and stretched with the developments undertaken with our longer standing partner client organisations, and our thanks and appreciation for a significant year of change, hard work, investment and learning go to Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, North Star Group, NIT, Vela Group, Longhurst Group, Arla, St John Ambulance, Refugee Youth, People and Planet, and Ethical Property Company, with whom we have shared so much and gained in so many ways.

Through Glyn Fussell, Heather Barker, Chris Taylor and other core associates we are also able to confirm that additional commissions and relationships are now in place for 2013 with Financial Services Authority, Bettys, Taylors of Harrogate, Reclaim and Barnardos. Carole-Ann Jones is leading a Great Place to Work process, informed by the Workplace of the Future initiative in 2009, which we will build on in 2013. Our emergent programme calendar including Managing Oneself, Tools for Change, Awakening Social Purpose and Where do I go from here? has been possible through the energies of Janice Gowing, Chris Taylor and many others.

Our international work with the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative moves from strength to strength, influencing more business schools and global companies in how they develop the next generation of leadership. Nick Ellerby continues in his role as Senior Advisor to the UN/EFMD Initiative, leading with a keynote presentation in South Africa, with Claire Maxwell as the Oasis partner representative chairing a business seminar. The GRLI had a platform at the Rio Earth Summit in June 2012, and we are delighted with the impact of the 50+20 Agenda. The last year has seen the work of Claire Maxwell and Chris Taylor with the Northern Institute of Technology in Germany expand to include modules on Corporate Governance, with plans to embark on a further programme in China from 2013.

The Full Circles, lead by Yaakov Atik in Scotland, together with the aligned work in retail and manufacturing settings, has reviewed well, and we are delighted to be launching a new Full Circle in Leeds in 2013. The new Sustainable Project Management initiatives, lead by Charles Greenwood, are also reviewing well and we look forward to a new Elements publication on this topic in 2013.

Having laid out our renewed purpose in 2010, in 2011 we were thrilled to identify our seven areas of focus towards 2014. Next year sees us progressing Programmes, Working Well Initiatives and support for new initiatives in Scotland and internationally. Watch this space!!

The year will not be complete without congratulations to Chris Neligan, who has recently stepped down as Chair of The Oasis Foundation having served it through a period of significant transition. With her guidance and energy we have seen the publication of Steps towards Ecology of Soul, and have known ODEF has been in safe hands. In ensuring the launch of Bryce’s last book, we also want to say thank you to the trustees of the charity for their contribution and to Heather Tweddle for her unstinting editing work.

To provide all we do to those who engage with us would not be possible without the remarkable contributions of the Oasis community of practitioners. We send our thanks and appreciation to each and everyone, international contributors Geoff Bellman, Prof. Peggy Cunningham, Zena Bernacca and Barbara Langton, the UK wide Peoplecare counsellors and developers, associate facilitators such as Benita Treanor, Jane Senior, Helen Green and Catherine Bernard, and more than thirty Executive Developers including Julie Barnes, Sharon Warwick and Chris Lazenby.

Once again we want to say a heartfelt thank you to Lise Ribeiro, Sheila Bradbrook, Ann Newton, Cathy Neligan, Samantha Parker and Heather Griffiths, as well as to recent joiners, Thea Mortimer and Laura Wright, for whom this will be their first Winter with Oasis. They each combine warmth, openness and a willingness for those we serve, as well as engagement and competence in their roles and relationships.

Marion Ragaliauskas, whilst also holding other responsibilities and lead roles, has, with the help of our financial advisor, Tim Morgan, and the in-house team of Ann and Thea, ensured our own finances remain sound and healthy, enabling us to remain a wholly independent organisation, with no debt or reliance on grant support. This last year has seen us able to provide investment support in three ethical finance organisations, Triodos, Ethical Property Company and Shared Interest.

As Oasis takes a few days rest and closes its doors on 21st December, before opening them again on 2nd January (Peoplecare calls will still be answered of course!) we take the chance to say a huge thank you to all who have supported, contributed, blogged, facebooked, engaged and served our purpose and one another, and wish you all the best for 2013.

Marion, Chris, Nick and Claire

The Directors Group