The Four Elements of Culture Shift
The notion of shifting an existing culture in an intentional way is still somewhat new, and yet so critical to our collective betterment. So much has been written about the aspects of culture that are noteworthy, admirable, and innovative, and yet more is needed on how to actually change it. Balanced Is has a process for shifting culture and it can be broken down into four elements. The four elements of culture shift are the foundation, the invitation, reciprocity, and the call.
In any work involving complex human dynamics in which we are working to a collective goal that involves human motivations, worldviews, and values systems, it is most important to first build the foundation for the work—or as some would say, to build the container.
We build the foundation by:
- Establishing the purpose of the workshop
- We introduce ourselves according to our lineage, which is an indigenous way of identifying oneself.
- We establish that we are all equal, we leave our titles and accomplishments behind, and bring only our willingness to explore a different approach to our working lives.
- We hand over our electronics for the day so that we may be more fully present with each other and meld our pace to the pace of nature.
We do not seek to challenge or judge, or to be harsh or hard-lined. We recognize that for each person to evolve their personal cultural values they need to challenge themselves. We can only invite.
We continue building the container for the work of strengthening and evolving culture by inviting participants to embrace the Warrior Spirit. In all the indigenous principles, if we do not employ the warrior spirit we will only scratch the surface and miss the deeper levels of discovery that lies beneath. The work we do of shifting culture requires our willingness to peel away the layers of beliefs, values, and cultural precepts, as if we are peeling the layers of the onion to get to the core.
We establish a framework of communication that requires mutual respect, active listening, and engagement—we employ the indigenous principle of the Oral Tradition. We do this through talking circles and the use of fire as a calming force.
By practicing the principles of the Warrior Spirit and the Oral Tradition, and together with The Foundation, we will have built the container for the work of evolving our culture and we are ready to begin the exploration of the remaining indigenous principles.
The third element of culture shift is Reciprocity, which includes the four indigenous principles of Connection to Earth, Everything is Alive, The Elders, and The Four Directions. These four principles are foundational to understanding indigenous culture, and combined represent an inherent philosophy among indigenous people of reciprocity with each other, with nature, with the elements and with all life—with both the animate and the inanimate.
The Call, is the point in the exploration of the indigenous principles in which they coalesce into one complete system that catapults us forward and enables the evolution of culture in a powerful and meaningful way. The call is represented by the seven remaining principles, which individually and collectively call us to a higher purpose. The call is also similar to The Invitation in which we are being invited to greatness. The invitation is about inviting us to conduct ourselves differently. The call is about us choosing to heed the call for greater meaning and purpose in our working lives—to a purpose that embraces the reciprocity of all life. When we heed the call, we are embracing more than a proven system or a practice—we are embracing a knowing. In this sense, we have moved from knowledge to practice to wisdom.
- The Roles of Men & Women
- Seventh Generation Unborn
- The Way of Love
- The Spirit World