We’ve heard it before: bringing people together, collaborating, fusing our minds, hearts and souls and more. In order to effect change and make good on our wishes and aspirations for a better world.
Whether that’s in political, communal or organisational spheres, matters not. The backdrops to our ‘performances’ may dictate the way we are; but nothing beats togetherness, surely? In a world, so divided, along all sorts of human-constructed lines, we have to gather the good, the needy and the willful to do ‘right’.
Which is why I’m gathering. 2020’s pandemic response and the seismic shocks to our entire way of living saw us all go ‘what now?’ and in many cases, as I advocated ‘what next?’
I’ll share with you what I think is next. We gather.
We gather those to us who believe in that better way. And look to their differences not just their similarities to us. And we look to what they can commit to with us, and for themselves. It’s important we align personal aspirations with collective endeavours and plans.
2020 saw People and Transformational HR Ltd. create an eco-system of partners and establish it’s first-ever advisory board structure with our Spiritual Investors (more on this later — but essentially, people that are different and have different lived experiences of the world, to the team we have assembled).
So yes: A gathering.
Now, this gathering of additionality is deliberate. For any potential clients, there’s not just us, but also an array of specialists and generalists they can engage with; that have our blessing (for what that’s worth) but of course in their own right, are excellent practitioners, companies and have some amazing tools, propositions and things they do. We don’t partner with just anyone. We look for additionality but also alignment with our principles.
As a reminder, here are our principles (not valued in a particular order — they’re all of equal standing).
So we’ve now gathered a range of partners here. And there’ll be more to come.
We’ve also been part of gatherings. Invited by others to partner, play and push agendas for change and better. Not just as paid clients, but as collaborative forces. We’re always grateful to be gathered with others who are similar, different and want good things to happen as a result of our combined energies.
I’ve already written about one gathering we’re very excited about with Living HR in the USA. Mainly because of the differences but also stark similarities in our drive, passion and perspectives on work and people.
I’ve not written so much about our Spiritual Investors Board.
A what Board? You might say.
During the summer of spotlighting the tensions around race, equality and all that stemmed from #Blacklivesmatter, I was a bit pathetic about it all. I didn’t know what to say or do. All I felt was an aghastness that people didn’t understand the prejudicial circumstances people are born into and how difficult it can be for equality of chance and fairness of opportunity to be present. I thought we’d made strides in my lifetime; understanding things like systemic racism in organisations after the Stephen Lawrence enquiry in the UK.
So, in pondering what to do, I spoke to some of my closest connections and friends who happened to be different to me. And they all agreed to a gathering — to become PTHR’s Spiritual Investors. Not investors in financial capital but in human understanding and guidance, appreciation and action that was about the differences people have in themselves. We’ve only met once, and agreed that we should continue with this venture and I’ve had to postpone the follow-up due to some life events colliding with the timing. We’ll get back together in 2021 though with a purpose and a strong gathering force — so see below in the pledges/intentions part. I’m grateful that these people — who are different to me and the team we have here at PTHR - bring us to a point of enlightenment, allyship and can create moments that matter in our fight for inclusive and fair justice for all.
So, 2021 will see the gathering of people we’ve aligned to in 2020 — forge, fire-up and further our distinct and related ambitions into a new dawning. Sure we’ll be in lockdown, vaccination routines, and continued dispersal for some time. But the gathering is not only a physical one, it’s a philosophical and psychological gathering. Meetings of minds, hearts and souls. Or minds, consciousness and thoughts to quote the amazing Sydney Banks’s work.
Not so much a prediction then, more a ‘setting the stall out’ for 2021 gatherings.
Here’s strategic intent, plans and aspirations all rolled into one.
- We’ll gather our Spiritual Investors and more of our friends with differences to a virtual event in Q2 of 2021. It will be called Difference and will be about the understanding of difference. Conversational, exploratory and enlightening.
- We’ll write our way into topical areas of consciousness and action through a gathering of HRZone and Living HR. We’ll create thoughtful pieces of commentary, agitation and aspiration through a regularised column. So thanks to Becky Norman at Sift Media and Keri, Amanda and Team Living HR for creating this opportunity.
- We’ll deepen and advance our liaisons with our partners. We’ll gather and explore more jointly crafted work propositions, solutions, products and ways of being that will help us all do ‘right’. Jessica Bailey — who has fervently dedicated her work this year at PTHR to this — will lead our charge and create that gathering into 2021’s yearbook.
- We’ll apply more of our sustainability principles into more Green New Deal-type agendas and forces for good. Led by Kirsten Buck, we’ll make more commitments to regenerative practices, actions and commitments to the planet, societies, communities, nature and people. We’ll hopefully apply this by being a certified B Corporation organisation. Our application is pending and we hope it’s a positive outcome. We aim to gather more of the B Corporation community to the cause of what’s good, right and needed in the world.
- We’ll share our principles and practices and give away some of our applied ways of being. Led by Catalina Contoloru, we’ve worked this year on perfecting our operating systems in self-managed, agile and accountable ways. We’ll therefore open up more to gatherings through Culture Tours — learning experiences by individual professionals interested in experiencing our way and being able to take things back to their work and colleagues.
- We’ll also gather our applied performance work in humanist, self-managed, agile ways of operating into Data and Performance services. Led by Clare Hems, we’ll show how projects, tasks and workloads can be tamed, optimised and unleashed to be more effective, efficient and human in how work gets done. Clare will also gather an offer to more virtual, supportive ways of providing assistance through Virtual Assistant services.
- We’ll gather all we’re learning in digital content and engaging communications through our Marketing as a Service led by Emily Woolgar. Smaller enterprises can rarely afford even the most micro-bureau support for good content, social presence, engaging visuals and media materials. We aim to put that right with more support offered to start-ups and micro-ventures like ours.
- We’ll gather our abilities to create social systems of working that are orchestrated by Catalina Contoloru so that we can continue to offer optimised advice to our clients through our own experiences, experiments and research into self-managed, agile and responsive systems of work. That are fair, inclusive and effective in handling accountable, collaborative and impactful ways of working.
- We’ll gather our Americas influence and presence through Crystal Castillo and spreading the word of our approaches to work through her presence on that continent and through our partnership with Living HR. By gathering more insight into what would help the Latin American business world in particular.
- We’ll gather some new faces to our team (TBC). We said goodbye to one of the team in November, but there are already plans to add some new experiences, thinking and kindred souls to our fold.
- We’ll gather some of our best-known minds/spirits from our network and create VIP (Very Interesting Person) Speaker slots at intervals in #TeamPTHR’s Tune-Up Tuesday’s. These short sessions have become part of our learning workouts. We already have our punctuated 4-Day Operating Week (4DOW) and we precede them with our Tune-Up Tuesday (TUT) gathering sessions. This year we’ll open up to some of the most interesting people we know to share their perspectives, experiences and insight with us (and in return, we’ll donate to a charity of their choice).
- We’ll gather our HR professional colleagues so we can create the force for good and build on any collective spirit, collaboration and realisation of what has happened during our enforced reset by the coronavirus pandemic. See my post here on the potential fellowship gathering approach — no one leading it, no agenda, just people together wanting to make a change and particularly through the lens of Human Resource, Organisation Development, Learning and People Professionals.
Mostly though, we’ll gather all we have for the year ahead.
Whilst this year has been tragic, testing and exhausting, we are heading into 2021 with careful optimism. It will take us some time to vaccinate people to be assured that close proximity human contact is safe and the much-talked-about ‘return to normal’ simply will not be.
There was too much not right with the pre-pandemic world, that we’ve come to realise in the mid-pandemic experiences — key people in particular. You know them, but in the name of respect and appreciation of people working in
- health & social care;
- agriculture and food supply/retail;
- delivery & logistics;
- utilities and environmental services;
- local and central government; and of course
- charitable and non-profit social enterprises that look after other people.
Key-worker classification (and no longer referring to them as low skilled jobs) was one of the better realisations of the year.
We’ll all need to gather for what’s next. For those committed people and for us all.
We must continue to be more caring, thoughtful citizens as we fight the current peaks in infection rates and pressure on our people in our health care services.
We’ll all need to think about what we can now avoid returning to and claim some newly found opportunities and actions that are better.
Let’s see 2021 mean better business for a better world. And more so (as I said at KindfestUSA 2020) better people for a kinder world.
That’s the gathering I want to be part of and hope you’ll find your gathering to do the same.