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Core Process


Consultants working with organisations using the 'Open Systems Planning' approach of Clark and Krone saw organisations as having a central 'reason for being' or 'core mission'. There had to be one answer to the question 'What business are we in? '.

Chris Bull and others created a method, using the 'Open Systems' approach and counselling, to enable an individual to discover his/her own core mission. They called this personal mission 'core process'.

Chris worked with ICI in the 70's using core process. It had an extraordinary impact. One eighth of the people who went on the programme left the company or changed jobs within six months to follow their hearts. This was in the middle of a very nasty recession and ICI was at the time one of the best employers in the world

What is the core process of an individual?

The positive centre of the individual is unique. As that person goes through life he/she will finds situations in which everything goes well. Under these circumstances the core process is operating freely. We have found that the core process is consistent through time for an individual. Thus the life/job that will best suit a person is one that is consistent with the core process.

You could say that when we arrive on the planet we have a unique job to do. When we do it, we enjoy it, it goes well, we make a meaningful contribution and we feel great. Core Process is a very quick way to discover what your job is! 

The core process describes the best way for the individual to handle any situation. It is very useful as a guide to management style and in team building situations. We find it remarkably hard to imagine anyone else working in a different way from us. It can also provide a guide when people feel stuck. Ask them 'What would you do if you were following your Core Process?

The form of the core process is a verb and a noun. Typical examples are Growing Life and Lighting Fires. The person gives a very rich meaning to these simple words.

Finding the core process (A hypothetical example)

Step one. The person tells say four stories about the times in their life she or he has felt most alive and alight. These can be about work or home, about a moment or a period.

Step two. The person picks one story to explore in more detail. The facilitator elicits verbs and nouns that describe what the client was doing and what she/he was doing it to/with.


















Step three. The client picks three or four words from each list that appeal to him/her. 








Step Four. The person synthesises the words into a phrase that is exciting, challenging and captures who she or is at her or his best. 

This example above could lead to  "Building Community"

Step Five. The core process is now 'checked'. It is often so exciting that people feel it physically. People also find that it fits all their stories. They can use it a life direction or a way out of a crisis. All core processes are two-way. They show our preferred way of giving and receiving energy. 

Results of using this method

Here are a few of the things people have said:

“A remarkable tool.”


“Helped me discover my unique gifts and how I best add value to the world, doing what I love doing.”


“I had an extraordinary session. There came a point where I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. The more I think about it (my core process) the better it gets.”


“Brilliant. I now have a greater understanding of why things happened in my life and how I can make them better in the future.” 

More Information

You can contact me by the website, by email, Skype nickheap or phone +44 1707 886553

If you are interested in learning how to deliver core process, there are instructions here. I also train people, please contact me as above.


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Contact me

Phone +44 (0)1707886553, or +44(0)7879861525 email or Skype nickheap

Using these materials
I am entirely happy for you to use or draw on any these materials in any way you think will be helpful. I am keen to have my work, and the work of the people I have learned from, used.  


The language on this site is correct UK English throughout. There are differences in spelling and meaning between UK and US English. The context should make the material understandable in the US.

Further Information

There are free articles, exercises, designs, book references and links to other sources about many aspects of personal, team, management and organisation development on this website. I will add other resources as I learn what you want.

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