Take responsibility to insert meaning into what you do
About fifteen years into our consulting business we started to feel stuck. Our industry appeared to be hyperfocusing on tools and putting different labels on the same tools, processes and methodologies. We were looking to mature beyond a tools focus so we started to talk to senior colleagues in and outside of our industry and take the time to reflect to have some down time away from work projects.
During this time and on auditing and reviewing the projects we were involved in, we identified that although we had done our part on the projects and done good work, the real impact of the projects as a whole was not that significant or meaningful to ourselves, the team, the customers, the business and the planet as a whole.
The “Make Meaningful Work” experience and supporting framework has been informed and inspired by books, articles, conversations, workshops, presentations, fields of knowledge, philosophy, cultures etc
We presented and facilitated workshop to inform the question of how we can “Make Meaningful Work” in the following locations globally including and in no particular order Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Bangalore, Ottawa, Seattle, Atlanta, Portland, Wellington, Auckland, Hobart, Vercelli, Milan, San Francisco, New York, Singapore, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Jönköping etc and this also included a range of domains and industries including financial services, education, media, logistics, ecommerce, insurance, utilities and hotels to name few.
We started to turn this into a larger learning project and asked more questions by talking to and presenting to people, conducting workshops in different cities around the world and through the recording and writing ideas, gaining feedback and forming the direction that led to the question of how we can “Make Meaningful Work”?
These questions also informed our research as follows:
- Interviews, workshops and presentations to thousands of people globally to gain a clearer understanding of what work looks and feels like in their locale
- Expert inputs from a range of locations, industries, job roles, work experiences, cultures, work types and personal backgrounds
- Understanding the local and global patterns in work places
- Presenting at conferences to look at the problems inside and outside of work
- Workshops with individuals and teams in organisations to collect stories and evidence to develop key elements of the “MMW Program” to inform the proposition and sharpen direction
- Desktop research including articles from hundreds of publications including topics and themes ranging from business, innovation, leadership, change and transformation, digital, social, psychology, philosophy, personal development, economics, sociology, engineering, design, art, linguistics and futures to name a few
- Books including topics on design, leadership, business, culture, innovation and change to name a few.
This was informed by ongoing conversations to this day to mature the “Make Meaningful Work” framework, platform and the “Meaning Maker Community” we have built globally.