Kicking it Off With a Prayer and a Story!

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect


At key times during the culture and disruption initiative I’m leading, I’m going to share the strategy, tactics, pivots, etc. with our followers so we all might learn together. It will be authentic, messy and hopefully instructive. Please join us with the overall objective of inspiring a movement to create even greater workplaces and organization cultures. Everyone has the right to thrive in a great workplace. Each of us has an obligation to make it so.

The Challenge: How do you kick off a culture “boot camp” with 25 culture champions, and 25 supporting experts, in a way that sets a deep and strong foundation? Leading a cultural transformation takes courage. Once you open up the culture conversation with an entire institution, you can’t just stuff everything back in the box. So the folks attending the boot camp and leading the first phase of our culture initiative, a comprehensive cultural assessment, would really benefit from coming together as one connected team. The way they insert themselves as listening catalysts in the organization will establish their brand as culture champions. It will have a profound impact on how the organization perceives the culture work as meaningful and sustainable. So a lot of thought has to be put into how to begin.

What We Did About It: The college has an indigenous center which is an actual space on campus. One might view this center as the heart and soul of the organization. It is the essence and symbol of diversity, inclusion, courage and resilience that drives this institution. The college and indigenous center also has the good fortune of having Deloris Cardinal, a Cree elder, as part of the faculty, and she kicked us off with a smudge and prayer. In the spirit of indigenous tradition, Elder Deloris “started us off in a good way.”  It was a remarkable moment to become centered. We then moved to our boot camp working room where in one large circle, our marvellous colleague Maureen Parker, led a storytelling process. Each participant brought something that symbolizes a moment in their lives that required personal courage. Building off our beginning prayer, we came together in story. As each of us took the step of being vulnerable and brave in sharing personal story, you could see the group beginning to meld into “one.” It indeed was a very solid start of our investment in pouring this strong foundation. I believe this will give us the much needed platform strength to launch from. Stay tuned to hear how the rest of the boot camp goes and what we do next. Thanks for being part of our journey.

Think big, start small, act now.

– Lorne

One Millennial View: That certainly sounds like a compelling and cool way to kick start the culture conquest. I like the way the group has become one, and I’m eager to hear how the boot camp continues.

– Garrett

Blog 989

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis