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Abbey's ancient setting for radical approach to work harmony

St AlbansLearning NewsBob Little Press & PR

The ancient buildings of St Albans Abbey were the setting for the launch of a book which sets out a radical new approach to enable people to 'bring their whole selves to work' and so feel truly 'valued' in their workplace.

New Zealand-based authors Dr Marjolein Lips-Wiersma and Lani Morris launched their book - 'The Map of Meaning' - at the Abbey on 2nd November. The book launch was held in conjunction with the launch of EPICC, the consultancy arm of Workplace Matters, a charity which has over 50 years' experience providing chaplaincy to a wide range of companies and organisations within the private, not-for-profit and public sectors.

Lips-Wiersma and Morris' book sets out a framework of the dimensions and process of living and working meaningfully. It outlines the Holistic Development Model (HDM) which draws together the aspirations of individuals and the organisations in which they work - allowing people to align their deeper life purposes with their daily actions in the workplace.

The principles and processes outlined in the book form the basis for EPICC's approach to bringing greater recognition and status to spirituality in the workplace. EPICC believes that this radical approach is unique in the world of human resources-related consultancy.

Wheathampstead-based Sue Howard, one of EPICC's consultants and author of the book, 'The Spirit at Work Phenomenon', explained: "EPICC's emphasis is on human care within organisational strategy and culture. We can help to develop the intellectual, emotional and spiritual intelligence of leaders to support the emergence of caring economics and a sense of 'thriving' more than 'surviving'.

"Our approach focuses on taking a systemic view around two aspects: growing and developing an organisation and its people together, as well as creating an environment that draws out underlying wisdom and releases energy."

EPICC offers:
Action Research - to explore how to change working life for the better
Development - of projects to support organisational and individual transformation
Mentoring Support - a reassuring ongoing relationship to help maintain progress

"Many people feel that their work isn't valued and that work itself has lost its value," commented EPICC consultant, Keith Williams. "With this has come a growing desire to find work where people can be themselves in body, mind and spirit."

"Research - such as that by Gallup - shows that there's a strong link between employee engagement, motivation and productivity," added fellow EPICC consultant, John Kay. "It suggests that financial results will be better, customers will be delighted and staff will thrive where the organisation can find the right balance between two management paradigms: the dominant economic - finance based, short term, zero-sum, process, rational, controlling - and the emerging social paradigm based around relationships, ethics and inspiration.

"This is exactly where EPICC can make a positive difference to organisations in the private and public sectors," he said.

For further details of EPICC (, contact Alison Crookes at Workplace Matters on 01727 818144.