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Introducing Our Updated Core Values

|Jan 10, 2022
The Narrative Enneagram -

We are pleased to announce TNE's new Core Values: 1) Compassionate Curiosity; 2) Grounded Presence; 3) Worth and Belonging; 4) Collaborative Creativity; 5) Individual, Collective and Structural Transformation.

To learn about our process and what these values mean, read more below.

Development of New Core Values

In 2021, we completed an eight-month review of our existing Core Values to better reflect and define the world we desire to create together. This process was sparked by ongoing conversations about our commitment to develop and sustain a culture that is:

  • Committed to diversity, equity and access to all programs
  • Aligned with our mission and vision
  • Cohesive and collaborative

In April, the TNE Core Values Committee was formed with representatives from the three key TNE stakeholder groups: faculty, staff and board of directors. We held space for important, in-depth discussions that helped us to evolve and align our values with our vision for the future of TNE and our community’s impact on the world. In alpha order, the TNE Core Values Committee members included:

  • Christopher Copeland, Core Faculty
  • Ed Self, Executive Director
  • Julia Lemke, Marketing and Communications Director
  • Mary Jo Ruccio, Board Treasurer
  • Satoya Foster, Program Coordinator & Registrar
  • Kirsty Spence, Committee Chair and Board Member

We researched organizational literature to develop a process, define key terms, and expand our creative dialog. Integrating what we learned, we adopted the following as our shared definition of core values:

  • Core values are essential and enduring tenets of TNE (Collins & Porras, 1996)
  • Core values serve as energizing drivers of the collective aspirations and intentions we all embody at TNE (Barrett, 2017)

To identify key themes, we developed a written survey and invited 38 key stakeholders to share their anonymous feedback. We also sought input from our students by reviewing course and member survey feedback and holding two focus groups with members of our BIPOC student community. Both the stakeholder survey and focus group feedback went through three stages of analysis by an individual, partner and group.

Following the thoughtful responses shared by our community, we found key themes and developed an initial draft of the Core Values. We presented this first draft to the three key stakeholder groups and received additional feedback that the Committee used to re-check for themes, patterns and outlying information necessary in our revision efforts.

As a result of this process, our Committee finalized the language of the Core Values and received unanimous approval from the TNE Board.

We are pleased to announce TNE’s new Core Values:

Compassionate Curiosity

We open our hearts to receive and express loving kindness, and we expand our minds to increase our capacity for greater awareness.

Grounded Presence

We practice being grounded in our bodies and present to our own inner experience, allowing us to be receptive to ourselves, to others, and to that which is greater.

Worth and Belonging

We create brave learning spaces for diverse participants to experience the inherent value and beauty of difference, as an expression of the greater whole.

Collaborative Creativity

We work together in partnership with our eyes open toward wonder and possibility.

Individual, Collective and Structural Transformation

We facilitate educational experiences to cultivate greater freedom for all people and to build capacity for the dismantling of oppressive systems that deny justice and prohibit flourishing for All.


In the coming months, you’ll hear more from us on what these new Core Values mean at an organizational and operational level as well as individual perspectives from various members of our team and others. As we learn, evolve and grow as an organization, we will continue to seek and evaluate feedback from our stakeholders and community so we can ensure we are regularly embodying, operationalizing and evaluating the integration of these new Core Values within the work we do at TNE and in the world.

We look forward to hearing how these values resonate for you and sharing stories from our community that bring these values to life.

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