It was a gift to host the Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole’s first public event – Human-Centered Leadership for Meaningful Work. The lively panel conversation sparked curiosity for considering how to bring greater wholeness and meaning to organizations. Panelists included Najeeba Syeed, El-Hibri endowed chair and executive director of Interfaith at Augsburg University, Jun-Li Wang, associate director of Springboard for the Arts, and Kyle E. Smith, co-CEO of Reell Precision Manufacturing. Tom Henry, former CEO of Landry’s Bicycles, served as moderator.
While the panelists discussed many topics, they focused on issues of honoring individuals as whole people within organizations. Panelists discussed how employees can be engaged in ways that allow them to see how they are contributing to the larger whole which can provide them with both personal satisfaction and support the growth of the organization. Attendees heard how artist can be innovators within organizations by using iterative processes to solve big challenges for communities. Jun-Li stated that, “If we’re not thrilled and daunted at the same time, we’re not doing the work” to bring the organization and its people forward. None of this work is easy, but by bringing forward our individual gifts in the workplace, organizations can begin to thrive.
Those who attended the roundtable dialogue which featured a presentation from MNCEO’s Executive Director Kirsten Kennedy, began a conversation on what it means to build a more holistic business system. While there were no concrete answers, participants were curious about how to shift workplace cultures to ones that are more collaborative while also acknowledging the roles business can play in the larger community.
The long-term work of Seeing Things Whole takes commitment by leaders to aligning actions with values while also acknowledging the tensions of organizational life may create imbalance at times. By building this intentional community of practitioners, the work of the Reell Office can support leaders to:
See better what is and what could be.
See the practical things facing organizations.
See things in the larger context that organizations are a part.
This conversation was the first hosted by the Reell Office that sought to lift up the voices of leaders working to bring greater wholeness and meaning to organizations. Stay tuned for future opportunities to engage in this important and meaningful work.
Leaders create pathways for people and organizations to thrive, but it’s no easy task in today’s workplace. How do effective leaders navigate persistent challenges while remaining true to their values?
Join Augsburg University’s Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole for breakfast and conversation with compelling leaders from business, the arts, and education who share a common drive to bring greater wholeness and meaning to their organizations. You will hear candid stories of success and challenge at work, from creating space for individuals to thrive as their full selves at work, shaping policies to balance organizational and people needs, and navigating the practical realities of leading organizations through periods of prosperity and economic downturns.
The conversation is for anyone seeking to find greater meaning in their work and leadership—especially people who are new to managing teams, in charge of organizational policy in a post-pandemic world, or thinking about organizational futures.
● Najeeba Syeed, El-Hibri endowed chair and executive director of Interfaith at Augsburg University
● Jun-Li Wang, associate director of Springboard for the Arts
● Kyle E. Smith, co-CEO of Reell Precision Manufacturing
● Tom Henry, former CEO of Landry’s Bicycles (moderator)
Following this session, stay for a special roundtable dialogue to consider questions around the future of work and business in Minnesota using the Seeing Things Whole framework. The roundtable will include a brief presentation by Kirsten Kennedy, executive director of the Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership.
Who do you turn to for perspective on the thorny problems of leadership in today’s workplace? Are you a leader who would benefit from reflective practice, a framework for accountability, and customized coaching as you navigate organizational challenges?
Seeing Things Whole is a disciplined process that embraces the organization’s relationships to the larger world, cultivating whole leaders and thriving organizations to positively impact the common good. This fall, the Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole at Augsburg University will launch a Community of Practice Cohort to support the professional development of three leaders by advancing their strategic thinking toward action.
Working closely with professional staff and cohort members, participants will receive customized coaching, develop mutually supportive relationships, and learn to apply the Seeing Things Whole framework to real-life problems. Over the course of three months, cohort members will identify and dig into a particular workplace challenge, gaining insights and perspective to see the whole of their situation and formulate an effective path forward. Participants will:
Attend three Whole Leader Roundtable sessions during January, February and March
Work with fellow cohort members and staff to articulate and make progress on a leadership challenge
Present the challenge to a Whole Leader Roundtable and receive focused feedback and insight
Share progress and provide accountability within the Community of Practice Cohort
Participate in structured reflection throughout the experience
Leadership challenges can encompass a wide range of issues, such as how to grow a program that requires many collaborators, how to share power within hierarchical organizational structures, or how to sustain motivation and resilience in a challenging leadership environment.
This opportunity is ideal for any individual looking to develop a deeper, more positive connection between their values and leadership action. The Seeing Things Whole framework has been used across sectors for more than 20 years by CEOs in retail and manufacturing, nonprofit leaders and managers, educators, and entrepreneurs. It is appropriate for leaders at all levels, particularly those facing complex organizational problems without straightforward solutions.
The Seeing Things Whole Roundtable provided a great deal of clarity and next steps around building out a new program at work. I gained new vantage points and got support from departments that will collaborate with me. The questions that were asked and the resulting insights gained about collaborative opportunities was the most valuable. Their insights and perspective helped me consider ideas and opportunities I had overlooked or needed to spend more time exploring. I was greatly energized by this experience and I feel better prepared to tackle obstacles I may face in building the new program. – Gina M
For this initial Community of Practice offering, cohort members will pay a reduced fee of $600 (from $2500) for participation in the program (more than a 75% discount). The time commitment will be approximately 15 hours of face-to-face time (in-person and online) with additional personal work.
Contact the Reell Office Program Director, Keri Clifton, with specific questions at 612-330-1525 or firstname.lastname@example.org to share your interest in participation.
This spring, the Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole’s Program Director was certified to facilitate the Dependable Strengths Articulation Process. Dependable Strengths is a peer-assisted, group process for identifying individual strengths and has been utilized in various settings across Augsburg. It is an in-depth, interactive method that produces many benefits far beyond those of traditional question and answer strengths-identification instruments.
With this certification, the Reell Office can now support leaders to uncover strengths among and between leaders in the workplace and beyond. Dependable Strengths was founded on the premise that everyone has their own excellence in the form of a unique pattern of strengths. The process allows participants to articulate what is unique about who they are. It may confirm and/or reveal hidden strengths that set participants on a path to use their strengths intentionally in their work and life.
Leading with a strengths approach supports the organization to see and support their ability to create success across multiple bottom lines. As founder Bernard Haldane, Ph.D. said, “If you want to get the best out of a person, you must look for the best that is in them.” And when you find the best in people, you can build a thriving organization.
Contact us to learn more about this unique articulation process.
Augsburg University is expanding its offerings to support leaders to fully engage in meaningful work. Through a new continuing education course, leaders can learn to reflect deeply on their own values in relation to their actions.
The Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole, in collaboration with Augsburg University’s Center for Adult and Continuing Education, is thrilled to offer its first online course: “Foundations for Whole Leadership.”
Foundations for Whole Leadership explores the leadership framework Seeing Things Whole which cultivates whole leaders and thriving organizations to positively impact the common good. In this self-paced course, participants will grow their understanding of Servant Leadership, explore Seeing Things Whole’s Threefold Model of Individual Life, and apply the model to a personal leadership goal. Through deep reflection and real-life application of the model, individuals will walk away with a framework for tackling individual challenges in life and at work.
“We’re delighted to be launching Foundations for Whole Leadership to support leaders navigating today’s challenges,” says program director, Keri Clifton. “This course is our first online offering seeking to support leaders who want to find meaning in their work.” Through this self-paced online offering, leaders can learn at their own pace and gain new perspectives about themselves and those around them.
This is the first offering in a Whole Leadership Development Series with future courses currently under development. The Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole also hosts Whole Leader Roundtables monthly which allow leaders the opportunity to network and provide insight to each other’s challenges.
For more information, connect with Seeing Things Whole’s Program Director Keri Clifton.
E.B. White wrote that the role of the artist is to “see things whole.” These three words underlie a leadership philosophy that cultivates whole leaders and thriving organizations to positively impact the common good. Following a generous gift in 2022, Augsburg University has established an institutional home to support and extend this practice: the Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole.
First developed in the early 1990s, Seeing Things Whole is a three-fold model that helps individuals and organizations think about their lives as a set of relationships among three key dimensions—identity, purpose, and stewardship. The Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole connects Augsburg’s mission of educating students as responsible stewards and thoughtful leaders to the way organizations engage in meaningful, purpose-driven work in the world.
“The three dimensions of Seeing Things Whole align well with Augsburg’s commitment to educate for lives of service,” said Tom Morgan, professor of leadership studies, who introduced Seeing Things Whole to Augsburg in 2016, integrating it into the Master of Arts and Leadership and Master of Business Administration programs.
“No matter what the chosen discipline or professional aspiration, learning is best grounded in clarity regarding one’s values (their Identity), thoughtful consideration of who it is they desire to serve (their Purpose), and an abiding sense of how one’s resources are acquired and are being cared for (their Stewardship).”
Seeing Things Whole offers a disciplined process to support leaders who seek greater connection between their organizational values and the challenge of navigating today’s accelerating changes in the workplace.
“I feel energized to support leaders’ ability to think critically about the unique times in which we find ourselves while remaining deeply rooted to the values that support them to thrive,” said Keri Clifton, program director.
The Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole encourages individuals and organizations to participate in Whole Leader Roundtables, where attendees work collaboratively to understand all dimensions of a given problem, explore tensions, and work toward achieving an effective resolution for all stakeholders and across multiple bottom lines. Monthly roundtables are free and open to the public. Register now to attend the next roundtable on March 8.
Teams and organizations can apply the three-fold model to a wide variety of challenges, including strategic planning, strategic decision-making, succession planning, governance, and developing organizational mission, vision, and values. At the individual level, Seeing Things Whole offers a pathway to creating stronger connections between one’s values, sense of purpose, and leadership action. Individuals can begin exploring Seeing Things Whole as a tool for growth by completing the Whole Leader Profile at no cost.
The Reell Office of Seeing Things Whole was pleased to welcome Keri Clifton as its first Program Director in Fall 2022.
Keri brings passion and excitement for supporting individuals and organizations to thrive through effective programming, sustained engagement, and continuous development. She is committed to serving others for the advancement of the common good. Keri has a breadth of experience in non-profit program development, management, and fundraising in the fields of community development, arts, and mental health education and advocacy. Keri holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Leadership from Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN to be completed in 2023.