Inner & Outer Work

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To transform the way we work, we also need to transform our own perception, attitude and behaviours. 

We hear from every quarter that ‘Business as usual’ is no longer an option – in relation to each instance of corporate dishonesty, myopic short-termism, inequity within supply chains, depletion of finite resources, and especially in measuring the true cost of human burnout in families and society.

Research now indicates that the new generation entering the workforce is actively seeking work with greater meaning and purpose. There is an opportunity for leaders at all levels to question ‘the way things are done here’ and to use a more systemic, creative, ‘whole’ intelligence to make mindful interventions. The time is ripe for fresh new responses and solutions that generate creativity, wellbeing and fulfilment for ourselves and for others.

This project involves moving beyond ‘head knowing’ and actively exploring and testing out new possibilities in safe, yet dynamic spaces. We have – Ali and Sarah –  dedicated the last five years to living and exploring a key question…

How can we experience and create a livelihood in full recognition of the abundance, completeness and interconnectedness of life?

On that journey of self-awareness and inner development, we met some very uncomfortable personal edges. In order to embody a more generative way of being for example, we needed to fully trust in life’s abundance. And so we had to look at some of our most deeply-held fears, beliefs and attitudes to life. We regularly needed one another, and a wider peer community, to witness and encourage us at key moments in the process.

We discovered that for each significant new step (external action) needed to build this project, there was often a corresponding ‘inner movement’ in our personal growth. Anyone who embraces life as a growth journey, or indeed who uses a coach, mentor or other self-awareness practice, will undoubtedly recognise the truth of this observation.

It is in this lived context that we invite you to ponder the question…

How can I fully embrace my ‘inner work’ as a leader/creator/catalyst of new possibilities and discover how my ‘outer work’ is transformed as a result?

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Embodied knowing

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We are used to operating by using our head knowledge to navigate reality. Our minds carry a repository of stored information  built up from childhood that has been internally classified based on past experiences. For example, when we see a boat, we bring up in awareness the idea of boats and everything we logged about them, both factual and emotional.

In other words, we locate every thing within the realm of what we have already met or discovered – which is very stabilising in terms of creating feelings of familiarity in the world. It’s also a useful evolutionary device for surviving if we happen to meet a tiger!

However, this mind-oriented way of knowing is less useful in the realms of growth, creativity and innovation. Referencing our inner library index (consciously or unconsciously) can paralyse us when we want to find out something entirely new about a given situation, or give space to new possibilities. To do this, we need to be centred in the present moment and open up to other sources of awareness and inspiration.

We truly can meet the ‘here and now’ without running it through pre-existing filters. We have a powerful and fuller way of ‘knowing’ reality that uses sensing, deep listening and bodily data. It is intrinsically a whole person knowing, that focuses attention via a live question and also opens us up to wider spheres – that is, to other sources of consciousness that lie beyond individual experience.

Embodied knowing is an excellent means of keeping our attention in the present. And importantly, rather than distancing us from what we are examining, we are knowing it directly and staying in true relationship to its reality, now. This is especially true of human relationships where we tend to relate to people as we think/believe they are, rather than as they are right in this moment.

Embodied knowing also gives us the ability to be present with emerging data on all levels – with our mind, our felt bodily sense and our emotions. The key is to resist the natural urge to collapse the knowing field down in habitual and reactive ways based on ideas we hold and past experiences – and of course, this shuts down the potential of every living momentAs practitioners, we often need to discover areas of reactivity in ourselves in order to remain clear and present.

There is increasing amount of work being published about knowing and consciousness. A few key ideas you can explore within the fields of Psychology, Physics and Neuroscience are: morphic fieldscollective unconscious and second brain (or ‘gut brain’).

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An invitation to do business differently

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What does it mean to do business differently?

Generative Work.Space was formed to pioneer life-affirming frameworks and research visionary practices in business. In contrast to ‘profit at any cost’ and short-term thinking, we embody and support conscious innovation.

When business protects and serves life – taking care of human enrichment, diversity, wellbeing and precious resources (tangible givens) – we see the true nature of value creation. We invite those interested to experience the power of working with self-awareness, system-wide perspectives and understanding based on the ‘unified’ field.

Background story

This project was seeded in 2010 when life brought us, Sarah James Wright and Alison Wooding, together at an advanced systemic constellations practice circle. We shared a classical marketing background, a love of systemic approaches and a passionately held question in common…

How can we do business differently – so that the production and promotion of goods and services can ethically and truly account for the ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet and profit?

Two years later, we came to work together in purpose-led consultancy the Whole Partnership. The seed germinated and our ideas evolved through exploring the work of other business pioneers including Dr C Otto Scharmer, Peter Senge, Bill Isaacs and Frederic Laloux.

That incubation time reconfirmed that business can be a force for good, and that a movement towards conscious innovation and stewardship is already happening. Thought leaders, such as Giles Hutchins, clearly describe the “deeper shift underway… transforming cultural narratives that inform our ways of operating and organising”.

We set about synthesising our own understanding of this fundamental shift towards self and system aware leadership, cultures and design. We saw that it was possible to ‘become generative’ – that is, work in full harmony with the field of life. We began prototyping this generative approach with solopreneurs and SME business owners from summer 2015. The open workshops revealed fundamental shifts of potential when leaders reconnected to themselves and to their work systems in an essential, purposeful and creative way.

An invitation to you

It is time to found new organisations and to evolve existing organisations in the service of human wellbeing and life itself. We have developed a v1.0 framework for individuals, teams and organisations interested in exploring and applying next-generation business practice through coaching, training and facilitated spaces.

We propose a different set of measures for valuing impact, based on wholeness, embodiment, sustainability and systemic principles. You are invited to join in and help pioneer the future of conscious work.

We look forward to hearing from you…

Sarah James Wright & Alison Wooding