In the Bapu Trust, soon after inception in 1999, we learnt that personal motivation, effective team collaboration, aptitude for creativity and innovation and leadership are not 'natural instincts' that staff bring when they join. They have to be diligently cultivated, refreshed and mentored, within a value based framework on a continuing basis.
The World Center for Creative Learning Foundation (wcclf.org) mentored our organizational development needs by creating a "HR manual" for us (2003-2004)
Bapu Trust, over the years, has maintained an OD culture throughout. We have created spaces and processes for positive and proactive exchange between team members, people and organizational values, harm reduction in working together, non-violent communications, filling out roles while maintaining boundaries, 'letting go', 'leadership' over 'management', etc.
With the introduction of Arts Based Therapy trainings (www.baputrust.in also www.bt-abt.in) for BT's leaders, programs became more colourful, lighter, more contemplative, and centered within aspirations of each person, while forging deeper connections in each team and with the larger organization and communities. Words like "Partnerships", "Networks", "Ripple effects", etc. became more frequently used within the team establishing our interdependence. We continued to be wonder-struck by the large wave-like, expansive effects that even small gestures of generosity and caregiving can have. So, BT people partnered more closely together with tens and hundreds of people in a way to build collective aspirations for a world free of suffering; and we became more and more expansive in our wish to be useful and in our collective actions. The process of 'scaling up' began!
Will we be able to safeguard our people centric work culture, our compassion, our sense of justice, our wish to be useful, and our strong ethical value base?
The 'Leadership' language has been very handy, continues to be useful, especially the tools and the techniques. However, it does not go deep into people, touching their very existence and transforming them from within. It does not give moral questions for everyday life. Working in mental health, with a vast diversity of people this is what we need.