[This blog post is part of the P&I series where we share our personal and professional journeys and how they link to a re-thinking of P&I and its purpose. Read the previous and the next blog post of the series.]
Having shared some of our personal journeys (see Vanesa’s here and Clara’s here), it´s time to make visible part of the organizational journey of P&I. We hope that by opening a space where others can watch us evolve-and some also maybe contribute to part of our process, we will both encourage individuals and organizations and be encouraged by them to evolve.
We deeply believe that personal and organizational journeys are intertwined and can empower each other. In fact, if we desire to lead and foster organizational change, we have to be willing to transform ourselves personally. As Frederic Laloux expresses in this video related to leadership and change: “It´s as much a personal journey as it is an organizational journey”. He continues sharing that those who dare to undergo these processes have to face their self confidence boundaries, their shadows, which are consistent invitations to grow. They are not easy journeys, for sure.
In the case of P&I, after spontaneous and open exchanges about how we were feeling about our work, and the new things and people we were encountering in our personal explorations, we decided to spend a day re-thinking about our current purpose and how it could be evolved.
Back in December 2019 (which seems trillions of months ago and complete different scenario with COVID ruling our lives now), we launched a process of rethinking our organizational purpose (don´t miss out our next blog post with details about the tools we used to do this!). This required each of us to walk away from our comfort zones: we talked about stories within our projects and work that talked to our deepest values, we tried to express what we were undergoing using the intelligence of our bodies, we opened up our will to embrace what emerged from these dynamics.
To enable collective intelligence to weave organizational change, there is a need to work on opening our minds (to receive new ideas, even those that disconfirm what we desire to happen or what we believe it´s true), opening our hearts (empathizing with each other but also trying to see ourselves and our roles from the perspectives of others in the system) and opening our wills (letting the uncertain future emerge slowly and without clear roadmaps, while we would have preferred to walk out of the session with visible signs of what we need to do). Doing so requires genuine personal work: the journey is no longer MY journey but OUR journey, not OUR plan but what OTHERS might need from us.
Personal work also means we bring our whole selves to the co-creative process. To take in the whole person has been a great adventure since. We have cultivated a space where we have begun to get to know each other better, appreciate much more explicitly our human qualities-and embrace our human limitations as well. It´s a fun journey but it is also a difficult journey. However, I am in, we are in. As Laloux so poignantly declares: “If you are not willing to be changed, I´d invite you not to start.”