Healthy Group Cultures
Here at Culture Garden, we believe that a healthy group culture is the ground which gives rise to successful projects and thriving communities.
A group's culture is formed in the subtle interplay of attitudes, expectations, and behaviours which interweave with its systems of communication, governance, and decision-making. When healthy, this interplay can be a group's life blood, nourishing, inspiring, and empowering its actions throughout its lifespan.
At this moment in time, many of our group cultures are sick. They have become the repositories for outdated relational patterns such as scapegoating, bullying, hierarchy, domination, and separation, which persist unconsciously in our groups’ relational fields despite our best efforts to evolve.
Instead of supporting innovation, unhealthy group cultures keep us stuck in old ways of thinking, feeling, and doing. Instead of making us more effective, they create unproductive conflict, role confusion, and anxiety. Many of us feel these impacts in our workplaces and communities, and yet we can have difficulty naming and understanding the source of the problem.
How We Work
Cultural expectations are developed and carried beneath our conscious awareness and are often more “felt” than “known.” Culture Garden supports groups to learn the skills and practices required to understand and engage with this hidden landscape: to identify the dynamics, needs, and issues at play in their cultural field; to compassionately release patterns that no longer serve their wellbeing; and, to become active participants in co-creating healthy group cultures that express their values and empower their work in the world.
We also support groups to explore the place where their group culture interfaces with the systems and structures they use to make decisions and self-govern. A healthy culture functions best when it’s in a reciprocal and harmonious relationship with these more “visible” group practices. We help groups to identify the places where this inter-relationship is compromised, and to design and integrate the outer systems that synergize most effectively with their evolving internal culture.
We call this practice Culture Gardening.