Our Areas of Specialisation
Culture Garden draws from our areas of specialisation in varying combinations, depending on the needs of the groups we work with.
EVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP / SHARED GOVERNANCE
Recent decades have seen a proliferation of methods by which to share decision-making and leadership in group cultures, and to empower groups to continuously evolve their sense of purpose and identity. We teach Sociocracy in combination with other collaborative methodologies such as The Way of Council and Acorn Leadership, to provide an effective and flexible framework in which groups can find their own “best fit” for shared, evolutionary, self-governance.
PARTS OF SELF AND SYSTEM
Any individual or group is a system comprised of many parts. This may seem obvious on the structural level (a body is a system comprised of organs and tissues, an organisation is a system comprised of roles and responsibilities); it can be less obvious - but no less true - that this same principle functions on the psychological level. Individuals commonly have psychological parts such as "the victim", "the parent", "the shadow", or "the judge". When brought together in a group, these parts join forces to create the psychological weave (what is often referred to as the "field") of a group. For better or for worse, this "field" can exert tremendous influence on a group's culture, decision-making and overall effectiveness. Our team uses Gestalt, Processwork, Jungian, and embodied/ expressive frameworks to understand and engage with this dimension of a group's experience.
Sooner or later, any group or initiative will experience conflict. This can stir up difficult emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, or despair; however, with practice – and some planning and cultural design – groups can engage with conflict as an opportunity for positive change, insight, and growth. We teach the practices and personal skills required to navigate conflict peacefully and courageously, in order to receive its (sometimes hidden) gifts.
Our bodies are the place where the most ancient, forgotten stories of our cultures play out; stories which all too often involve painful loss, disconnection, and domination. Although we may yearn for genuine connection and ways of living and interacting with others that reflect our deepest values, many of us nonetheless unconsciously embody these ancient stories in our moment-by-moment ways of being. Body-Informed Leadership supports us to sense into these embodied patterns in order to compassionately acknowledge and release the dynamics of dominance/submission from our brain-bodies, and to activate instead the ways of being that are hard-wired for empathy, collaboration, creativity, and play.
THE MASCULINE AND THE FEMININE
Masculine, Feminine, and Nondual energies interact and express uniquely through every person, place, and project. Understanding the gifts – as well as the potential pitfalls and historical wounding – of these energies helps us to be the most creative and empowered version of ourselves, and to utilize the full range of leadership and connective tools at our disposal in our lives and group cultures.
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (CED)
We understand "an economy" as being an agreed-upon process by which a group supports its members to share their resources, and to meet their needs for living. Even the smallest group has social, economic, and environmental resources, be they social media skills, a gift for listening, an extensive social network, raw materials for building, or a studio space for meetings. The CED process supports groups to map their resources in order to enhance their effectiveness, to (re)define their internal systems of exchange, and to cultivate synergistic partnerships with the communities, people, and places around them.
Understanding and practicing deep connection with Nature brings us back into the foundational creative partnership we believe we are designed to have with the world around us. Nature can be our most loving mentor, mirroring us back to ourselves and enriching our inner developmental journey – as well as giving clues for creative ways to organise groups in harmony with her core patterns and blueprints.
In our Longer-Term Partnerships, we offer support and structure for groups' "Cycles of Learning": for a cyclical process of Visioning and Planning, Prototyping/Action, Observation (including assessment, measurement and evaluation), Reflection (including creative and non-linear processes), and back to Visioning/Planning again. This supports groups to share accountability, to regularly harvest - and direct - the tangible progress or "outcomes" of their efforts, and to ongoingly update their sense of purpose, vision, and shared action. We believe that effective methods of project management support the safety, trust and vulnerability required for deep creativity and flow, and that they ensure outcomes are aligned with a group's deepest visions.