Place in time and sense of direction


This is a larger scope, strategic-level pattern, which might also be called “Historical context” or “Place in history.” It answers questions such as, “What are the roots of our organization,” “What has brought us together,” “What have we come through to arrive where we are today,” “What are we called to do going forward,” or more concretely, “How does our current situation change our understanding of who we are, what we do, and how we will go forward.” Without a clearly articulated and regularly renewed story of a Compelling Journey, a group will simply cease to exist.

However, the rehearsal of Compelling Journey may also ritualize the completion or intentional dissolution of an organization at the completion of its “mission” as a way of commissioning members into new endeavors with the benefit of learnings, experience, and collegiality gained through the shared adventure.

Core of the problem in context

Dramatic transitions in the life of an organization, particularly those brought about by a change in external circumstances, create anxiety and uncertainty relative to goals, values, social relevancy and expectations, leading to a sense of disorientation and intensifying internal conflicts and competing priorities.

Core of the solution

Therefore, the story of an organization’s journey must be continually refreshed and rehearsed in a variety of media and formats to encompass the new and broader perspective forced open by current circumstances, to recover the deeper learnings and strengths of the organization’s past, to recognize and reposition previously hidden or underutilized creative resources, and refocus corporate energies toward emerging opportunities.

Relationships to other patterns

In terms of patterns I have been working with (and will be posting to this blog), Compelling Journey lies within and further defines Comprehensive Frame of Reference and informs the application of Worthy Challenge, Community Festivals (Corporate Celebrations), and Personal Testimonials.