Recently I spent a fair amount of time researching change management. The world is changing, demands on medium sized organisations are increasing and social justice for individuals living with disabilities require advocating constantly.
Because we are a strong voice for social issues and specifically equity for children and young people with disability GSL must keep up with global trends in business to ensure longevity.
So, we've embarked on a complete mindset change. From being a standardised hierarchical model to an agile and lean model able to scale continuously as our sector changes.
Through this process policies, procedures pretty much everything morphs, so I found myself working on our onboarding model, struggling to find an "essence" word.
Something which encapsulates our spirit, that thing that makes us feel a part of something, that keeps us tight in our beliefs. Through my readings I came across an article written by Gary Younge published in The Guardian - see here.
Younge writes..."In short, I cried for bits of my life that had been lost. Not discarded; but atrophied. Huge, formative parts of my childhood and youth that I could no longer explain because you would really have had to have been there but without which I didn’t make much sense".
As a South African born and raised in Port Elizabeth now calling Australia home, it resonated with me strongly yet again, how impactful the metamorphosis of migration is for those transitioning from one country to the next.
We become cultural nomads of sorts immersing in everything our new home offers - of course we have to! Our language & pronunciation changes, our menu, clothing, hairstyle change.
We fit in!
In corporate employment we have to cram information, which probably takes others years to master, into our minds in record time. Business concepts, law studies, statutory frameworks - all so we can be equally productive alongside our new colleagues as it should be. Yet, our new colleagues only know us in this life.
Systematically through this process though, we recall less of what we learnt, experienced and taught in our previous lives. We forget the valuable cultural connections and learning and don't consider for a minute that they could add value in this life.
Until one day when we are searching for something to tie together essence and spirit as people passionate about social equity and inclusive practice for people with disability.
And out of the blue, from absolutely nowhere I recall the beautiful Zulu term UBUNTU.
I am what I am because of who we are.
I reckon there's great value to be added to organisations worldwide if we accustom to the realisation that our previous selves don't die when we migrate to another country. Old culture does not override or replace new experiences, values, learning, life lessons and joys we experience in the now....it adds an undeniable richness, quality & depth to it and brings a feeling of wholeness to our souls.