Last week we set out for the Philippines with a mission – to identify a compelling vision for our business – one that holds us through this time of rapid growth and welcomes disruption as it unsettles and provokes us.

The visionary hosting of the conference we attended in Cebu afforded us three opportunities:

  1. To see and understand the lives of our future Virtual Staff working in the Philippines – such that this was no longer an imagining, but real for us. This included meeting, learning alongside and celebrating new friendships with each other – humanising what might be thought of as a ‘transactional relationship’ and transforming it into a personal friendship across oceans.
  2. The chance to remember how fortunate we are. This fortune happens at many levels.  Visiting an orphanage reminded us of the gift of family; taking 2.5 hours to travel 19 kilometres through ‘standard traffic’ reminded us of the gift of infrastructure; spending a week with an amazing group of entrepreneurs reminded us of the power of intention, community and possibility in an ever changing world.
  3. The chance to reflect. We advocate this in our work, which means to be authentic, we need to do it ourselves! The balmy weather and tropical locale made this an ideal reflection destination – oh, and there was a pool or two to reflect beside – which helps!

So, what did we arrive at? A mirror of our own journey as well as a commitment to how we will show up in coming years.

  1. Work should be something you enjoy.
  2. It is a place where you search for and ‘experience’ challenges that stretch you and enable you to grow.
  3. There’s an opportunity to name these challenges as exciting and something we can lean in to. Not everybody will see it this way.
  4. Who you are as a leader is a function of your evolution as a person. We work with the people first to enable the leader within.
  5. Leadership is an every day, every person act, which, when ‘owned’ and ‘enacted’ by the majority creates positive social outcomes.
  6. Its the people within organisations that can influence organisations to act for the social good.
  7. An organisation is a group of people who choose to coordinate action for the sake of something they believe in – something shared and in common; and some things beyond the shared context, like family and community.

With this new vision, it is time to create.  We have a sense of a departure.  Away from any association with compliant learning, traditional learning (not that we have ever occupied that zone) and towards creating conditions for wholehearted learning and transformational leadership.  Journeys of courage and transformation.  This feels exactly where we need to be and after 10 years of practice, perhaps we are ready for a whole new expression.

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