Foundations of a Healthy Group Culture

A healthy, solid and nurturing foundation is important for any group to grow and achieve it’s vision and purpose. Beyond our groups, organisations, teams, businesses and workplaces, we  can also say the same thing for relationships of all kinds – with our partners, family members and most importantly, with ourselves.

Imagining that we are a little seed with so much potential. Imaging our group or organisation as a seed looking to plant itself somewhere that will support it to grow tall and strong and produce great abundance.Vision Tree

Where to start?

  • With our needs – our personal needs and the needs of the group. This is foundational, like the sub soil beneath our feet.
  • Add a rich layer of top soil to mix with and enrich the subsoil for essential grounding and solidity through exploring and naming values, principles and ethics that group members feel are important. 
  • We now have the basis for healthy soil, healthy group culture and happy, engaged members if we mulch and nurture what we have by establishing shared agreements and understandings. What personal needs do we share and what needs do we agree the group has? What values, principles and ethics do we commonly have that relate to the group? These will inform the groups vision, mission, goals and activities and can be continuously referred back to and refined as the group grows and changes? Shared agreements and understandings are like the straw that protects the soil and retains moisture, the green manure and ground cover crops that nourish and make sure everything is covered, the liquid manure that vitalises and ensures the successful germination and growth of the seed.

With these three elements in place the seed, representing the group and it’s ‘Vision’ takes root in fertile ground.

Creative, empowering and diverse processes can be used to work with a group to establish their personal and group needs, values, principles and ethics then come to shared understandings and agreements. The analogy of the seed is part of a meta process Robin is developing called ‘The Vision Tree Process’. The next stage is to explore the Group Vision and the things that help the seed to grow.

The whole process will be detailed in Dynamic Teaching and Facilitation – The Foundations which is mini book one of the series Robin is writing and due out by the middle of the year.

Email Robin to express interest in the book or check out the article about Patreon which is helping financially to support the book writing project.

About Robin Clayfield

Robin Clayfield is an international teacher, facilitator and author who is passionate about healthy groups, organisations and communities, their structures and governance and most importantly, their facilitation and group dynamics. She presents and consults all around the world to support global health, well-being and whole systems change through using Permaculture, Social Permaculture and ‘Dynamic Groups’ methodology. Robin is a Permaculture Pioneer and Elder who has lived at Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-Village in SE Queensland, Australia since 1988. Her books and resources include ‘You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too’, ‘The New Permaculture Principles Card Game’, ‘The Creative Community Governance and Decision Making Resource Kit’ and the ‘Creative Process Wild Cards’. She is also the co-auther (with Skye in 1995) of ‘The Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively’ plus several resources and card games for teachers and facilitators.

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