He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata,
What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the peopleMāori proverb
We want to create a culture of deep curiosity, care, and compassion for ourselves and others.
We believe that if we’re going to be able to do this on a scale that addresses the critical challenges we’re facing today, that we need to develop ‘system leaders’ with high emotional-intelligence, that place people and purpose at the heart of everything we do.
The first step toward becoming a system leader is to develop the capacity to see the system through the eyes of others.
The second capability involves fostering reflection and more generative conversations.
The third capability centers on shifting the collective focus from reactive problem solving to co-creating the future.The Dawn of System Leadership
Interested in more evidence this work matters? We’ve compiled a few of our favourites: evidence
We’ve launched our first tool: Heartwork — The Wellbeing Game, designed to make empathy and communication easier in the workplace. And, we’ve created workshops to support organisations to learn how to play and use this tool. Chat to us if you want to find out more.
We’re a community.
We’re creating public events and online forums for people who care deeply about people and want to join us in creating a more compassionate culture in Aotearoa, to connect and share ideas, to celebrate wins, and to support each other.
Win · win · win
We like to think of it as our true north, our ‘ikigai’. For an individual it’s when you’re doing something you love, that you’re good at, that you can be paid for and that the world needs. For an organisation, it’s that sweet spot where everyone in the waka wants to be in the waka; you’re rowing in the same direction; and you’re making something beautiful the world needs.
Clare Rousseau spent four years at the New Zealand Treasury working to create opportunities for New Zealanders to flourish through government policy and interventions. She saw an opportunity for her and other people within government to create better outcomes for New Zealanders through increasing their capabilities for empathy, perspective-taking and system leadership as defined by the Stanford Social Review. Her background is in economics and philosophy, and she trained as a counsellor with Youthline.
In June 2018 she started collaborating with Peter Jacobson, an Engineer, Experience Designer, and Mindfulness Teacher to explore that opportunity, and in October Clare and Peter co-founded Heartwork.
They wove Heartwork together from evidence and practices from a number of different fields:
- The research and practices from Clinical Psychologist and International Conflict Mediator Dr Marshall Rosenberg on human feelings, psychological needs and communication to enable us to meet our own and each others needs,
- Te Whare Tapa Whā and Te Wheke, the most widely used Māori models of mental health,
- Mindfulness, and
- Gamification, and
- The Theory U practice of change, design and facilitation by Dr Otto Sharmer at MIT.
The aim was to make paths for leaders and staff to create rich, connective, heartful ways of working where everyone is flourishing.
Clare and Peter have been joined by the delightful Paula Airth, designer and professor at Western Washington University. She came to Aotearoa to Study Co-design, and has been integrating her research into Heartwork’s practices.