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Mapping a Healthier Ocean with Project AWARE

Jennifer Mulholland & Jeff Shuck
September 19, 2017

ProjectAware.jpgLast week we had the honor to host the global team from Project AWARE in HeartSpace for the second year in a row to take part in Meridian, our strategy retreat. Ocean advocates, divers, and leaders from Australia, the U.K., France and the U.S. brought their heads and hearts together to Park City, Utah and trusted us to guide them through an immersive four-day experience. Not only did we fill over 75 pages of flip charts, we reviewed three different staff assessments and input from a survey to thousands of donors. We also embarked on adventures indoors and outdoors including hiking, biking and yoga that aligned, inspired and connected their team and ours.

Project AWARE is similar to many of our clients in that it is facing a changing competitive space. The organization is growing its team to not only meet the environmental challenges the ocean faces but to take advantage of opportunities and partnerships. However, new opportunities mean a new strategic imperative. Last year, they turned to Plenty to help map out the way forward. Inspired by the experience they had in HeartSpace, they returned this year with new team members and new questions.

TrinityOfAlignment-redo2V2.jpgWe are always struck and surprised as to what surfaces. This year, relationships were paramount -- among staff, partners, and constituents. We explored Plenty's Trinity of Alignment and the importance of clarifying and uniting each team member to their core strengths, their deep passions and the business need of Project AWARE. With a new executive director on staff this trinity became critical to her understanding of each team member's role and how to help them reach their inherent potential. We used the Clifton Strength Finder and Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages to illuminate this trinity. The lesson here for your organization is that strategic advantage and personal passion are inextricably linked together. Bringing awareness to what each team member is great at along with what they care about can help create efficiencies and productivity beyond what you could imagine.

In turn, that exploration led to a deep conversation about Plenty's Three Levels of Relationship. 

  • The lowest level of relationship is one of CONFLICT. In conflict, we protect, prove and defend. We see the world as adversarial.
  • An improved level of relationship is one of COMPROMISE. In Compromise, each party is willing to give up something in order to create a better outcome. However, giving up something is never an ideal state. In compromise, we carve up the pie, often grudgingly.
  • The highest level of relationship is CO-CREATION. In Co-Creation we work together with spirit (whatever we name that to be) to build something new, together. Co-Creation lives in the realm of shared intention where both contributors humbly and gracefully surrender to the highest and greatest good for all involved. This requires supreme self-confidence, high levels of generosity and faith that the world is good. Co-creation is built on trust and is a fluid, living process. The best long-term relationships, at their core, are co-creative.

These are only two of the juicy topics we explored with this incredible team. Check out what this amazing group of change-makers is doing for our planet by clicking here.

To learn more about Plenty and how our Meridian process can help you, click here.

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