What I learned on culture transformation from a wise man
- By Stephane Leblanc
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Patrik Somers-Stephenson for our International Centre for Conscious Leadership podcast. I met Patrik 5 years ago at a transformation workshop in Oxford and then again two years later for another workshop. I reconnected with him in England recently, while we were both attending a special meeting with Richard Barrett.
He is from Belgium and moved to England two years ago to live with his wife Kate. He has a background in education. He has been working with values and the Barrett Values Centre Cultural Transformation tools with schools and education environment for many years. He has also done national values assessment in Belgium. He has been interested in working with values for a long time to help improve the quality of life for himself and others.
Since he moved to England, he has worked in health care and he as also worked as a consultant. He is certified CTT trainer for the Barrett Values Centre. He also designed his own training program based on the book Evolutionary Coaching from Richard Barrett. A few years ago, he translated this book from English to Deutch and this was a very deep experience for him as it felt like he was translating his life. In every chapter of that book, he recognized something of his own life.
He approached the leaders at the Barrett Values Centre, and with their support, he created an accredited course based on the book Evolutionary Coaching. Patrik has since become Head of Training and Education for the BVC to develop programs based on Richard Barrett book.
The Barrett Values Centre is a global organization that was created by Richard Barrett 20 years ago. Its mission is to provide to organizations and facilitators, tools to assess and transform their culture. These tools are very powerful as organizational culture is always based on the beliefs and values of the people that work in it. These tools also allow to measure organizational entropy which is a reflection of the non value added work and wasted energy in the organization.
Based on the results of these assessments, the leaders and facilitator can then start to have a dialogue with the people in the organization to change the culture by changing the limiting beliefs, allowing the organization to move from fear to trust which allows people to be more engaged and perform better.
Patrik believes that we cannot transform an organization, we can only transform people and preferably, leaders first because the culture of an organization is a reflection of the consciousness of the leaders. By working with the leaders, it has an impact on the culture. In fact, you cannot work with the culture without working with the leaders first. Working with the leaders and the decision makers has an exponential impact on the organization and the tools from the Barrett Values Centre are very powerful for leaders and personal values assessment.
We talked about limiting beliefs and how they impact our way of being. Patrik talked about the fact that beliefs come from the past and they are very deeply embedded into our system. These beliefs have helped us live our life up to now, and although they are limiting us today, at one point they have served us. The more we grow and evolve, the more we think that if these beliefs are based on fear, they are not serving us anymore as they are keeping is small and are holding us back.
The first step in helping leaders transform is to make them aware of their limiting beliefs and the negative impact they have on their life. Every moment of our life is an opportunity to learn and to grow and when we reach a very difficult moment in our life, we should ask oursleves: "What is the universe trying to tell me."
He believes we need to listen to our body as we can usually feel in our system when we are in fear mode as we feel separation and when we are not, we feel connection. We should use these feelings to find out what is the universe trying to tell us.
Patrik told us he is a master in failure. That he failed so much in his life and he learned from every failures. He embraces his imperfections and he celebrates his progress. That's how he lives, that's how he learns and that's how he evolves.
He helps leaders gain this awareness with his work of coaching which is based on three key words: presence, silence and questions. By being silent with yourself and other people, you can create space where connection can happen and if it is a space of trust and love, then it will have an impact on other people. On how they feel.
His favorite job is not to talk but to listen because he listens to what people say and even more to what they don't say and he also listens to himself. He listens to the questions that emerge in the silence.
Presence, silence, questions.
These three words are very powerful. They would make a huge difference for me as a catalyst for leaders transformation. I intend to add them to my intentions for 2018.
I feel blessed that Patrik will be in Montreal from Jan 29th to Feb 1st to offer the Barrett Values Centre Cultural Transformation Tools training and certification program. Anyone interested should reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.