What and why is Equalvalue?

I thought I would start the New Year by sharing the origins of Equalvalue. Where should I start in the search for a name for a new practice that encapsulated the values of the enterprise? The really good names that captured the notion of reflective practice seemed to be well and truly taken.

Firstly:  I looked to the hexagrams in the classic Chinese Text of the ‘I Ching’ or Book of Changes for inspiration and chose two complementary notions or hexagrams which best embodied my approach to leadership development and strategy. Chi’ ien or Creativity calls for taking firm action, being bold without being reckless, but I paired this with K’un or Quiescence- calling for persistence, endurance and ‘ intense and patient effort’ during difficult times. These quintessentially masculine and conversely feminine symbols within the I Ching are complementary, neither should claim to have a superior quality. In other words they are attributed with an equal value, hence ‘Equalvalue’. The skill is in finding how to combine and apply these qualities whilst being true to oneself; which emphasis is required when?

This brings me to the second notion of being a ‘guide’, which seeks to be a theme throughout Equalvalue. I love walking, not just to knock off the miles or even to see the view but walking as sense – making, walking and talking or quiet time to absorb and distill experiences. I am in good company; you may have read Robert MacFarlane’s wonderful book ‘The Old Ways- A journey on foot’ (Hamish Hamilton IBSN 980-0-241-14381-0). The analogies are endless: following tracks, finding the right path, getting into your stride and many more. Macfarlane reminds us:

‘Paths are the habits of a landscape. They are acts of consensual making. It’s hard to create a footpath on your own’… ‘Paths connect. This is their first duty and their reason for being. They relate to places in a literal sense and by extension they relate to people’.

We do not have to find the way on our own, hence the link with strategy support and coaching. The best guides help us when to decide between the quicker or more sure footed ways, they can lead from in front when the path is completely unclear or they can lead from behind, as a back- marker. In recently being asked which three words best encapsulated my approach to coaching I chose:

Constructive, insightful, guide. 

This relates to the Flickr pictures on the site – they are taken from the Kauri Pass trek in the Indian Himalaya, and are  shared as sources of inspiration.


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