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27 April 2016

The Sacred Bundle: a magical way to express your core business values

A figure of a Cihuateotl, the spirit of an Aztec woman who died in childbirth.

What is a Sacred Bundle?

Based on Native American and South American native tribal customs, a Sacred Bundle was made up of items that reflect the history, values, magical moments, important people and sacred objects of a tribe. It was not opened without a ritual and new objects were added only rarely and with great ceremony. In the West you can see a similar idea in the memory boxes we keep for our children, in scrapbooks, in treasured (but often externally without value) possessions handed down from generation to generation.

Why would a business need a Sacred Bundle?

Storytelling in a business context is now a well-known phenomenon and has been proven to allow a business to connect better with an audience, engage their customers and share their values internally and with new staff. But where are businesses supposed to get their stories from? Working to create your own business Sacred Bundle will identify the 'magic moments' that have made your business come alive and what makes it unique. In so doing, you can create storytelling that is true to your origins and values, making it more effective and engaging for your customers. A few organisations who currently make use of the Sacred Bundle in a business context: Southwest Airlines, BBMG (a brand innovation studio), The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Aveda, Sears and the United Jewish Appeal.

What does a Sacred Bundle look like?

Everyone’s bundle will be different. The items do not have to be ‘pretty’ or make sense to anyone else. They might be the actual item (an item of clothing from your first fashion collection) or symbolic (a photo of your first mentor). Items will accumulate over time, naturally, so an ‘older’ organisation would probably have more items than a brand-new business.

How do make my own?

  • Take the time to consider your business’ history and try to pick out key moments, people, items or values that have shaped it along the way.
  • Create a real-life Sacred Bundle made up of items that represent what you have chosen.
  • Use the Sacred Bundle to help you communicate more authentically, share values with new people in your business and even reshape your business vision or create new product ranges.

Over the course of about six weeks I am engaged in intensive sessions with eight companies, who were invited to create a Sacred Bundle. The sessions so far have been fascinating and the entrepreneurs with whom I have worked have been insightful about their businesses, willing to answer personal questions and give thoughtful responses. I have had people both cry and laugh during the time I’ve spent with them and I have greatly valued their honesty.

At the end of this time there will be a workshop, which is open to the public for booking. In it we will attempt to replicate the process on a wider scale, allowing our attendees to create their own Sacred Bundles and think of how best to use them for greater business success. If you think this session could be right for you and you are willing to see your business in a new light then I hope to see you there.


Melissa Addey, Writer in Residence, Business & IP Centre