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Tipu Ake ki te Ora

Growing the future - An organic
leadership model for innovative
organisations and communities



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The Tipu Ake ki te Ora Lifecycle

We share Tipu Ake - an easily applied, and action focussed organic leadership model that exploits Kiwi style teamwork.

Resources provided include: downloadable model information, stories, application case studies, an organisational self-assessment tool, seminars, workshops, retreats and a "learning community" of users to help you grow a better future for all. A video presentation is available in many libraries in New Zealand and Internationally.

This radical behavioural model can be used by any organisation, project, group, team, or even family that needs to make new things happen. A fundamental premise of Tipu Ake is that participants start with an examination of themselves, then share their knowledge and listen to other's perspectives so all become wiser.

Tipu Ake is a holistic leadership model that encompassses and extends many other current management thinking and tools. See links to other sites.

The seven level model covers in its middle level (3) the strong process focus that characterises the management of most organisations, with the other levels incorporating radical thinking on chaos, innovation, leadership, courage, vision, stakeholders, team commitment, change information sharing, learning, responsiveness, agility, values and sustainability. It encourages us to think well beyond project risk management, capitalising on opportunities that move us towards the future we seek to grow. It is a framework that gives a wider perspective on leadership principles and knowledge. It demonstrates those project manager / team / organisational behaviours that drive real project success.

The Tipu Ake Lifecycle is based on the simple, but very powerful, natural analogy of a tree growing in a forest ,whose growth is subject to "pests" that attempt to constrain it and "birds" that plant the seeds that create a long term future for the species. "Poisons" are super pests that inhibit the process of germination. It can be applied at any level in any organisation to help make a well future happen.

Its organic approach is far from being soft and cuddly; it is a pragmatic roadmap for survival that suits organisations competing in a global marketplace. It capitalises on the same "WE can do" Kiwi culture that Peter Blake and Team NZ did, (something that is too often left buried deep under colonising management practices imported from beyond our shores)!

Tipu Ake includes an organisational assessment tool to allow people to assess where they are, question their assumptions, benchmark their organizational behaviours against others, and start making some radical changes for a better future.

How was it produced?

It was inspired by the transformation of Te Whaiti school. Here a proactive unemployed (decile one) Maori community called on its own internal strength and traditional wisdom to grow its school from failure and imminent closure to the top of its class.

Their stories and unique processes were captured after the event in Tipu Ake by a team of volunteers from Te Whaiti, the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and other NZ organisations. Many young students at AUT and other volunteers are now working together on a range of innovative projects (including this website) to help them share it.

All intellectual property and copyright of Tipu Ake will belong for all time at the place Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi. The people there are its Kaitiaki (Guardians). Acknowledgement is by koha (a gift in return based on its value to you).

Its full name is Tipu Ake ki te Ora (growing ever upwards towards Wellbeing). It is gifted to the world, dedicated to the wellbeing of all its future childrens.


Download your own copy of the Tipu Ake Lifecycle (pdf) and Powerpoint presentation now.

Try it and contact us to tell us if it worked for you; if not still tell us so we can learn more ourselves.




1. NEW "Lifelong Learning - Nature's Way" - Tipu Ake as a learning model
2. UPDATE " New Tools For Growing Living Organisations and Communities" Radical tools for program management in a world of complexity and inter-dependence - builds on our paper at PMI Global Forum, Anaheim. Nov 2004
UPDATE Downloadable Tipu Ake Model now includes "The Leadership Tripod" and Mycorrhyzal Fungi Networks - Partnerships below the ground level.
4. PODCASTS Listen to Stranova and Living Systems Thinking interviews - Blog
5. VIDEO: Visit Downloadable Video Libary, interviews, stories, apply Tipu Ake
6. Thanks to those who participated in workshops "Tools for Growing Living Organisations" run in New York, London, Mid Wales UK, Finland and San Francisco during August 2005 click here for report

Helping New Zealanders and the world grow from within
Please forward this page to others in your networks, or link from your site to ours.

(c) 2001 onwards Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi. All intellectual property protected under the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Adopted by General Assembly 13 Sept 2007) - details www.tewhaiti-nui-a-toi.maori.nz
The Tipu Ake Team thanks AUT for helping incubate this model and in particular the many student teams, staff and other local and international volunteers that have helped it germinate in many places around the world.
Click for details