To a personal work manifesto

‘To be meaningful, your work doesn’t have to have profound importance to society – … What matters is whether you perceive your work as contributing value to something or someone who matters (even your team, yourself, or your family).’ Amabile & Kramer

The Progress Principle (2011)

Purpose Place and Practice Workplace Flourishing personal work manifesto Robert Atkinson Endeavour Consulting Geneva

I have experience of both the highs and the lows of organisational life and have had the successes and the failures usual in any organisational context. I seek to use this knowledge and expertise to help others and, in the process, to continue to learn and develop my own skills.

I look for three main aspects in the work I do:


A prime motivation is to do work that connects to my sense of Purpose. I have recognised that the meaningfulness of the work I do is a crucial part of who I am and what I wish to do. Working with my clients and helping them to find their way to develop their organisation, and to become more successful, speaks to my idea about finding ways to improve society. Having worked in NGOs, and on environment and democracy issues, I am driven by a desire to see strong organisations that fulfil their role in society. Indeed, all of my consulting is with NGOs, or the government-bodies, foundations or aid programmes that support them. Allied to this I have a personal conviction about the importance of building into organisations those approaches that will help the people within them to fulfil their potential and flourish as individuals.


There is a famous quote of Archimedes where he speaks of how he could move the earth by having a lever long-enough and by having a Place to stand. As an independent consultant much of my personal motivation is derived from those connections gained in the places that I work in, their aims, and from the people I work with. People are so much about what I do, for me this means that I favour work where there are opportunities where I can truly come together with my clients and develop a strong connection with them, helping them in their challenges and their efforts.


I have done a lot in my career, but the more I learn the more I realise that there is still more to learn; I don’t have all the answers. Therefore I am always looking to deepen and broaden my Practice. This means I look to those tasks or interventions through which I can learn together with my clients and where I can further develop competence in what I do. I am always looking to be more innovative and to deliver what is best for my clients by doing so. I believe that by coming into a job with a learning attitude that it will support both my clients and myself to develop.

In short, I look to work along-side my clients, engage with them, and seek discussion and participation. Expecting that, in our common endeavours, my clients will join me with an openness and a willingness to engage with, and explore, those challenges that may present themselves. That together we’ll find the best way.

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