20 years ago, Amsterdam Oost (East Amsterdam) used to be a place you feared. It was dodgy and a place where many carried knives for protection from the ones who carried them to rob others. Now, with persistent work of local government and programs for social integration you walk through the streets curious about what exotic shop you will find this time. Will I go to a Turkish, Indonesian, Iranian or Morrocan to get my lunch?
An inspiring organisation that has been actively supporting many neighborhoods in The Netherlands, Starters4Communities, invited us to help their participants in propelling their projects to the next level in Amsterdam Oost.
Starters4Communities is making local entrepreneurial initiatives sustainable. Basically, they gather a group of cool people who then help entrepreneurs in the chosen neighbourhood to get their businesses or ideas to a well functioning stage.
And when I say cool people I mean it. When we asked them to check in with the guiding question: “What is the coolest thing you experienced in this neighborhood?” people’s eyes lit up. Stories of intercultural friendships were filling the room in the local community center. You could almost smell the spices in the local shops and feel the friendliness of local business owners they were working with in their projects.
Kristin guided the 20 participants through a pro-action cafe - a great format when you want to get a large amount of people to work on each others’ projects.
We have been facilitating many groups that felt stuck or needed help to get their work to the next stage. And we keep finding the same symptoms:
- progress is slowing down
- confusion is the predominant feeling (yet not spoken)
- knowing how to continue more often feels like inventing the wheel instead of building upon what is already there
Are you also struggling to maintain your focus in what you do?
I'm going to guess your purpose is fuzzy. Don't worry, we're not talking your life purpose here, just your project's purpose.
Teams tend to forget to start with the purpose. Many times it is: baaam, let’s do this! And off they go only to get stuck after working really hard towards the desired results (more sales, a marketing strategy, getting funding etc.)
It turns out that they haven’t gotten completely clear on why is this project existing, what is the core question.
When we asked the project leaders “What is the why of your project?” the only thing I heard from the crowd was “Oh, that is difficult!” And the discussion took the turn to the what after some minutes.
Yes, thinking about the reason for existence, the why, the purpose is a difficult question. And yet, it is essential for a focused and effective way of working. Essential for feeling light and free in what you do. This clarity brings the feeling of freedom - you know where you are going and what are your boundaries.
After 2 hours of vibrant work in groups, Sophie, one of the initiators of the program, said: "I feel great seeing our people so energised and much more focused in their projects. I want more of this!”
Yes, we want more of that as well. We are dedicated to help individuals and organisations get their projects to the next stage in a collaborative and fun way. All while connecting and learning.
Want to know more ways of how to get clear on the purpose of your project or business? Download our free workbook on 14 ways of working differently here and check the purpose and intention section.
See ya soon! Neža