Cultural Transformation

When I completed graduate school and came to Western Washington University, my focus shifted from a more literal focus on the sciences towards a keen interest in culture change and transformation. This connects to what I've already written about my experiences with Sustainability & Ecology somewhat. However, I have a distinct set of experiences related to cultural design & transformation. First & foremost, during my 9 years in the Secondary Education Department our department went through a significant cultural shift. I was an integral part of this shifting culture (I saw it as my mission to transform the culture) and learned the hard way what inhibited and supported cultural transformation. One of the most significant things a colleague and I did during this time was to design and pilot a small program that ultimately grew into the catalyst that transformed our departmental culture from one of isolation, statis, group think, and relative dysfunction into a culture where we collaborate and co-teach regularly, where the department is learning and growing rather than fighting to maintain the status quo, where differences and conflict are a normal part of our work together, and where we are supported in showing up authentically and honestly. I learned much in the process. However, some of the most important things are these: we are culture. So, we have to learn together how to create a new, healthier culture. And most of my colleagues didn't have a high interest in focusing their attention directly on this aim (whereas I am fascinated by this). So, transforming culture requires individuals who can imagine and experiment to create a different quality of experience, bring other people along to experience this foreign culture, help to translate this new experience so it's not interpreted through the lens of the old culture, and persevere through what is often a fairly lengthy, unpredictable, nonlinear process of transformation. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. And our capacity to evolve quickly requires us to become intentional culture designers & creators and master collaborators who learn together in community.

Imagining & creating what you love;
working with what you have.
 

Problems Are Often the Solution. Everything Works Both Ways.
Let's play together at creating the world we know to be possible.