This book introduces a ‘Map of Meaning’ called the Holistic Development Model, which provides a clear, simple and profound framework of the dimensions and process of living and working meaningfully. At an individual level this book helps people to define and stay in contact with what is most important to them as they grapple with the real problems of daily life and suggests how they can stay in charge of keeping the human search for meaning alive, especially in the face of the challenges that exist in organisational life.
We have been applying aspects of the Holistic Development Model here in classes in management and leadership at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School over the last four years. Students have found this frame an invaluable tool for orienting themselves in the face of what they see as an insurmountable range of paradoxes presented by our modern world. They ask themselves: how can I effect change ethically and meaningfully when my needs and those of the world, my values and the direction of society seem so at odds? Working with this frame has brought integration and empowerment, clarity and personal commitment to these students. It’s great to see it now in its published form.
Christian Penny, Director, Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School.
This book is primarily written for anyone, from a CEO to a blue-collar worker or consultant, who is interested in creating more meaning and purpose in work and organisations, and who would like to better understand how to get others on board. It is for those searching for ways to re-energise their roles 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.
I read this book with great delight. It is an important book, as it helps people 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 organisational sectors, in different countries and with a range of professions. It is also a ‘dangerous’ book, as it confronts readers 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. It is very well written and deserves a good reception. 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.
Like all reliable maps this one has been carefully tested. It is based on over 15 years of 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 wrestle with, and give answers to, the questions of ‘What is meaningful work and a meaningful life?’ This innate human knowledge is captured in a practical model that makes understanding and working with issues of meaning clear and accessible to everyone.
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 neither a self-help book, nor an organisational systems book; its strength is that it draws together the aspirations of individuals with those of the organisations in which they work.
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