It has been an extraordinary couple of months. We saw the book in its physical form for the first time and are delighted with it, thanks to Greenleaf Publishing http://www.greenleaf-publishing.com/ who got it done in record time. We've loved having this way of capturing so much of our work and sharing it. We ran workshops in Lisbon and the UK and met more people who share our enthusiasm for this work. People get so excited about taking it forward into their own work, their organisations and their countries. They go away better supported now that they have the book to which to refer. The Map of Meaning is certainly going out into the world.
We again did workshops with SIBL – the Scottish Institute of Business Leaders http://www.sibl.org.uk/ – and caught up with Drew Pryde and Robin Burgess. Amongst other things SIBL offers a monthly programme of speakers followed by an action learning process in the afternoon. Each time we have spoken and then participated in the afternoon session, and each time we are struck again by how powerful a process it is, especially for CEOs who often find it hard to be open about key issues that concern them. We saw how valuable it is for them to be supported in a process that results in such useful insights for everyone involved. Both SIBL's processes and our conversation about meaningful work left us all remarking how at home with each other we felt. Each time we work with the Map of Meaning we have a similar experience, strangers become close.
In Cambridge we caught up again with Jonathan Smith at Anglia Ruskin University and met some of his PhD students who are researching various aspects of spirituality and management. Marjolien gave them a useful overview of the field and will be continuing to work with them in the months and years ahead. We also met Deb Hill from New Zealand and it was amazing to see how quickly three New Zealand women can come up with outrageous possibilities – more of this later!
We went to Cass Business School and discussed the importance of ethics in the business world with Professor Paul Palmer and Denise Fellowes and how the Map of Meaning can help people stand firm in what matters most. Paul's recent research points out that management, in comparison with other professions such as medicine, has no code of ethics and that the current financial crisis is a result. Cass is embedding ethics in all its courses in the future. I'll be leading two sessions in Ethics in Business at Rutgers University in New Jersey in 2012. It's e-learning with me in my office in New Zealand and students in their homes, moderated by the tutor Anne-Laure Winkler. In the process I'll be learning a lot more about how we can work online to get our work into the world.
The meeting at Cass had been arranged by Sue Howard of Ecumenical Partnership Initiatives Compassion in Change (EPICC), a new consultancy based in St Albans and committed to developing the intellectual, emotional and spiritual intelligence of leaders to support the emergence of caring economics and a sense of ‘thriving’ more than ‘surviving’. Sue Howard SueHoward@holisticleaderhsip.co.uk had arranged a book launch for us in the Lady Chapel in St Albans Abbey. It was evening when we arrived and the Lady Chapel was full of lillies. To officially launch the book in this setting felt like a blessing on our work.
The next day we worked with EPICC Consultants on how they could use the Map of Meaning more deeply in their own initiatives.
In the Netherlands we met Walter and Fremke from Zin in Werk http://www.zininwerk.nl/ and Marjolein ran a workshop with them using the Map of Meaning as a base for their business. I came back to Napier and ran two workshops on the Map of Meaning and then had a delicious celebratory book launch in the Photographers Gallery – where I used to go dancing as a teenager. People loved seeing the book and were excited by the ideas. I thought how happy both my parents would be to see the book, such a vindication of their belief that talking about the meaning of life to a child was a sensible thing to do.
It is such early days and both of us are so impatient to get this work into the world. Already people are inquiring about becoming certified practitioners and we have been putting a lot of thought into this and will post up more on our website about this later. Marjolein has been invited to do a presentation for TEDx next year and we already have magazine interviews in the offing. We both feel excited and also sometimes overawed by all that lies ahead. Have a wonderful holiday and we will be writing more about how you can participate in this work in the new year.