Core Process – Appreciating who you are


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, Robin Coates and Calvin Germain created a method “Core Process” to help an individual to find his/her own core mission.

What is the core process of an individual?

The positive centre of each individual is unique. As that person goes through life she/he will find situations in which everything goes well. Then the core process is operating freely. The core process is consistent through time for an individual. The life/job that will best suit a person is consistent with the core process.

Your core process shows you what you are here on the planet to do.

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 hard to imagine anyone else working differently from us. It provides 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 finds a profound meaning to these simple words.

Finding the core process

Step one. The client describes three or four peak experiences and how he or she felt then.  The facilitator listens and draws out the feeling and meaning of the experiences.

A hypothetical example follows.

Family celebrationMet my spouse to beFirst child bornBuilt a team
Felt happy and safeFelt excited and happyOverwhelmed with love and thanksFelt proud and excited

Step two.  The client picks one peak experience 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 client synthesises the words into a phrase that has strong personal meaning to the client. This can take quite a long time as the words are inevitably very positive. It helps to work with less than perfect words first before deciding on the final phrase. This will be an active verb with a noun and possibly a modifier.

It could be “Growing Harmony”

Step five. The core process is now ‘checked’. If it is right the client will feel it inside her/him, often in the solar plexus. It will feel exciting and lead to the client making many new connections to their experience. The client will see how it fits all the ‘ups’ in stage one. She/he will see how to use the process as 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. Finally, many see their core process as an aspect of a positive process that is going on the world

Results of using this method

Early work in an ICI course developed a great increase in energy, self-confidence and willingness to be supportive. People reported they had fewer ups and downs and got out of the downs faster. One-eighth of the people left the company within six months to do their own thing.

I have used it since mainly in one-to-one counselling, and career counselling. It is good at liberating energy, self-awareness and imagination. It can help people find a new career or life direction. People also become more determined to make their contribution to the whole. It also works well in a small group. People then support each other.

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

There is more information about how to do core process work here.

I also train people on how to deliver it. If you are interested in this, please contact me via the website or email or call +44 7879 861525.

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick