We are Successful !?!

By Aart Bos l MasterPeace Leadership

Last week we learned that we as MasterPeace Foundation won a big grant that was tendered by the EU;

‘Artivist Stafetë Project’ improves the environment for active citizenship and civic participation by providing CSOs with tools to grant marginalised groups and side-lined voices in Albania with instruments with which to infiltrate the mainstream narrative and democratic dialogue (local, national and European), empowering each participant to use artivism as a driver for change. The project supports goals of stimulating activism through capacity building (artivism and soft-skill methodologies) and national/international cooperation with 15 CSOs.

The funding is big money to us, as we always fight for our liquidity as we balance income generation and investing funds in the growth of our movement.
This is indeed a great success, but to me it just is a (very welcome) result of our “Flow Compass” success  formula. This is a unique methodology that was invented a long time ago by my great friend Jan Pieter van Lieshout. I used this model in my previous job as a partner of a management consultancy bureau and at MasterPeace since my start early 2013.
The Flow Compass is relevant to profit and not for profit organisation. It helps me to optimally understand and use the talents of each and every one and there for the entire organisation. It helps you and me to understand our drive and ambitions on a personal and professional level.
The compass can best be explained using the metaphor of the 4 Compass directions; East, South, North and West.
The West symbolizes the result; the objectives, the quantitative and qualitative KPI ’s. We frame this as “ having”. “The having” expresses exactly the essence of the word Result; a result of.. . It is not a verb; it is an end-result of hard and committed work that you do.
The best way to achieve the results and objectives is to start with the East; your passion; your inner drivers and values. The metaphor of “being” facilitates the dialogue with yourself first (and in my experience also with your partner), with your colleagues and employer.
When this is your starting point for next steps in your journey of life and your decisions are based on this part of the compass I am confident that you will realize your ambitions. Not per se the way you think now what and how they will be, but you will grow to be a person that creates a better future.
From the East we travel to the South that symbolizes “feeling”. The South addresses the qualities of empathy, sensing opportunities, the deep belief in abundance and surpassing the fear of competition or scarcity. It also stands for co-creation (a core value of MasterPeace since our foundation). In this step you reflect with the other colleagues and/or project team members; what do we see and feel as opportunities, what are your strengths and what are the topics that you do not feel comfortable with to achieve the best result. Trust, openness, ownership and bonding are the strong fundament for the next step.
The North symbolizes the “doing” , organizing the structures, the lean processes, roadmaps and  (HR, ICT) systems. This is about planning and deadlines. 
Maybe the most difficult part of the journey is to take the curve from south to North. Its bridges the dimensions of Leadership (being and feeling) with the Managerial (the doing and having). Both qualities are needed to build a successful organisation and to flourish in your private and professional life.
The being, feeling and doing will result in a having and my experience in profit and not for profit, on an organisational and personal level is that the result will be different than planned. Most of the time I and we really overachieved expectations and in all cases doubt brought a strong fundament for the next learnings in our professional and personal journey. 
We might say that East and South represent the Leadership characteristics and North and West the Managerial. In my experience, it’s the unique combination of the four that results in great success.
Let me illustrate this with the practical example of winning the EU grant ‘Artivist Stafetë Project’ last week. 
In time we go back to a project that was tendered by the www.rvo.nl called “ACT for Creative Twinning” using music, visualization, storytelling and summits with dialogues on how to create perspective with local stakeholder in Albania, Bosnia, Georgia, Morocco and The Netherlands.
The RvO facilitated a meet & greet with the other winners; one of them was www.stichtingart1.nl  who have great expertise in activism through the arts. In this meeting there was a first click with the founder Chris Belloni and we agreed to have a next meeting.
In our office we met and learned that we shared the passion for arts and social impact. We shared the allergy for 9- to 5 cultures and bureaucracy and the ambition to be the most innovative changemaker that uses arts to build perspectives with vulnerable youngsters.
The East– “being” was a match and we shared the ambition to co-create using Arts for social impact especially in the Balkan as we both have a great network in this region.
In October we both identified the opportunity of a European tender and decided to meet and discuss the if, how and what. In the meeting we identified that as a team we do have a lot in common, that on both sides we dedicate resources and act as 1 team. We checked with our partners Armela Pengili (leader of the Albanian MasterPeace club and founder ACT for Society) and Arber Kodra (local partner of Stichting Art.1). In the zoom meeting we had a great mix of serious business and laughters (mostly on our own perceptions and dilemma’s). This crucial phase in the Souththe feeling” was in hindsight the key success factor; The team was ready to put all the energy, skills and innovative power on the table to win this challenge understanding that many hurdles would be on our journey such as different styles, understanding backgrounds and even simple words with various implications used in a different context.
From the South we travel in the metaphor to the North; “the doing”. The project team had to be organised, the writing process with a 4 weeks deep dive in guidelines, planning and organizing local civil society organisations and their networks. NB: a big help were our friends at the Dutch embassy in Tirana!
On a competence level we identified that we lacked the external auditors view and asked Emma Klever (www.bureaubuiten.nl ) to support us with her unique “carrot and stick” coaching. Emma has the quality to smile and tell you that you will not make it when you will not change this and this and this.
Our partners in Albania managed to mobilize a great network who were eager to join as they built for years a trusted relationship with them. 
The result in the first phase was that out of ca 30 competitors we were invited with 4 other competitors in the last round. Two would be the final winner; a 40 % chance!. This gave an enormous boost to dedicate even more time and go deeper than deep to have the most innovative and professionally organised plan of action for sustainable change under the flag of “artivism” 
We now celebrate the success of being recognized and awarded by winning this tenders result of a successful journey challenging each other on being, feeling and doing.

A journey that I love and embrace and hope it makes you also successful

Vote for this video

Scroll to Top