- PowerPoint slides TEDx-Innsbruck Presentation
- The why of work: NZ Management Magazine, November 2012
- Radical Authentic Leadership: Co-creating the conditions under which all members of the organization can be authentic: The Leadership Quarterly, February 2012
The Map of Meaning: A Guide to Sustaining our Humanity in the World of Work
Marjolein Lips-Wiersma and Lani Morris
September 2011 192pp
This book introduces a Map of Meaning which provides a clear, simple and profound framework of the dimensions and process of living and working meaningfully. It clarifies a territory that until now has been difficult to grasp.
Like all reliable maps, this one has been carefully tested. It is based on over 15 years’ research into the insights and practice of ordinary people. Although the authors borrow from the work of philosophers, psychologists and sociologists to provide evidence and context for their ideas, the main contribution of this book is that it describes how ordinary human beings give answers to the perennial questions of, what is meaningful work and what is a meaningful life?
The authors argue that being human is not a fad, being human needs to be taken seriously, and therefore so does the human need for meaning. This book helps people stay in charge of their search for meaning, especially in the face of the challenges that exist in organisational life.
The idea that there is a parallel between the meanings, decision-making dynamics and actions of individuals and organisations is central to this book. It therefore addresses meaning at both an individual and organisational perspective and in the dynamic between them. There are numerous studies that show conclusively that meaningful work, or its absence, influences important outcomes in organisational life such as job satisfaction, motivation, absenteeism, work behaviour, engagement, empowerment, stress and performance. But people’s humanity and search for meaning is not something that can be mechanised by the latest self-help or managerial technique. It is not something that can be picked up and dropped as convenient.
Creating the conditions for meaningful work requires the courage to question assumed ways of thinking about business. At an organisational perspective this book offers many practical examples of how to build and maintain workplaces that support meaningful work.
This is therefore neither a self-help book, nor a book on organisational theory. Instead this book draws together the aspirations of individuals and the organisations in which they work. This is its strength.
Full of stories from people who have worked with the Holistic Development Model, which forms the heart of The Map of Meaning, the book demonstrates the versatility of the model and show how it helps people to analyse, speak to, and plan around an enormous variety of everyday issues and situations. It is this resourcefulness the authors would like you to get from this book, and have at your fingertips. While this has a practical focus, the effect of working with meaning in this way is also to refresh the heart and soul.
Written for anyone – from a CEO to a blue-collar worker; consultant, teacher, nurse; office worker or social worker – who is interested in creating more meaning and purpose in work and organisations, and who would like to get others engaged, it is for those searching for ways to re-vitalise their work or change their careers. It is for anyone who firmly believes that it must be possible to align our deeper life purposes with our daily actions in the workplace.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction, overview and welcome
2. Background and guide to the Map of Meaning
Section 1: Taking Personal Responsibility for Meaningful Work
3. Finding the words to talk about what matters
4. Wholeness and integration
5. Taking Responsibility between inspiration and reality
Section 2: where meaning meets organisation
6. Taking responsibility between inspiration and reality in contemporary organisations
7. Creating practices and systems that have integrity and respond to the whole human being
8. Speaking to meaning within organisational systems
9. Meaningful work at the foundation of the responsibility revolution
Appendix 1: Joining us in creating more meaningful working lives
Appendix 2 and 3: Versions of the Holistic Development Model
Appendix 4: List of Certified Practitioners
“The search for meaning is as old as humankind. The Holistic Development Model proposed in this sober volume is about learning to successfully engage the external world and its challenges from the inside. This is a contemplative yet practical work that is as incisive as it is revelatory. It combines our search for deep purpose with the need to align goals, aspirations and values within the environment we live in. It will be received as a welcome addition to the rich and growing literature on self development irrespective of cultural boundaries. It is warmly recommended."
Ramnath Narayanswamy, Professor in Economics and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
“By providing a well-tested, comprehensive framework and language, this book helps managers to engage in a genuine dialogue on how daily tasks can be a natural expression of what truly matters, beyond profits and growth. Grounded and deep, the authors show us how to integrate inspiration and purpose into the reality of business."
Lenette Schuijt, leadership trainer and author of several books on management and inspiration”
“This is an important book, as it helps one orientate their career and work-life balance in line with their values and beliefs. It is a rigorous book, thoroughly researched and evidence based, tried out and tested in various organizational sectors, in different countries and with a range of professions. It is also a 'dangerous' book, as it confronts the reader with their inner most sense of being and challenges them to an intimate conversation with their self. The human resource professional who wishes to work with human beings rather than with human resources, will find in this book a useful and easily accessible tool, with numerous illustrations, to help people on their career journeys inside and outside work. Highly recommended."
Yochanan Altman, Senior Professor, Bordeaux School of Management; Research Professor, London Metropolitan University; Visiting Professor, Sorbonne Universities (Pantheon-Assas); Founding Editor, Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion; European Editor, People & Strategy
“I had the good fortune of using this Holistic Development Model early in its development, both for my own growth and then in one of my classes. In my MBA class on Organizational Behaviour I use the model and describe it to the students as a sort of "personal balanced scorecard." The students immediately see its relevance to integrating their personal and professional lives. I am delighted to have this beautifully written book available, and if you are interested in your own growth as a whole person and/or if you assist others in that quest, you need to use this book. It is extremely provocative and practical – as well as poetic.”
Douglas T. (Tim) Hall, Morton H. and Charlotte Friedman Professor in Management and MBA Faculty Director. Boston University School of Management.
Marjolein is Professor of Ethics and Sustainability at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. She has spent the last twenty years understanding the theme of meaningful work in practical and empirical ways. She has been a board director and chair of the Management, Spirituality and Religion group of the Academy of Management and regularly works with individuals, groups and organisations to diagnose and action how to create more meaningful work and work practices. Her academic work has won several awards. She has integrated the theme of meaningful work into a wide range of teaching including undergraduate business ethics, post-graduate responsible leadership and executive MBA organisational behaviour. Marjolein a co-founder of the Map of Meaning International.
Lani has over twenty years' experience as an independent organisational behaviour practitioner with organisations, teams and individuals in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, and as a contract lecturer at a number of universities and tertiary institutions. She has studied the human search for meaning all her life, through philosophy and comparative religion in her undergraduate degree and since then through independent study. The key focus of her work is to help people take responsibility for and reclaim power over themselves, their lives and their work. Her expertise includes: leadership, motivation, clear communication, innovation and creativity, meaningful work, and how these subjects intertwine. Since 2000 she has used the Map of Meaning to enrich and develop her areas of expertise in a wide range of social and organisational contexts. Lani is a co-founder and CEO of the Map of Meaning International.