When you spend a week in Phoenix with the gang from Globoforce and 1700 of their closest friends, you know it’s going to be a good time. That’s what happened at #WorkHuman last week. And just like last year, what strikes me most about the conference is its commitment to excellence.
The content is excellent. Adam Grant challenged my thinking regarding evaluating employees by asking me to consider the process towards success as much as the outcomes. Often, there is great value in the road built. The process can lead to innovation and participation as much as the results.
Susan Cain gave a gentle reminder that the environment for your people, including the introverts, must be considered. “If we want people to do their best, we have to give them control over their own stimulation.” A light was turned on in a dark room for many with this statement. How often do we think one large open concept office will work for all? Or sequestered offices? We can assess our folks and help them be more alive in the environment that cultivates their drive.
Of course, WorkHuman is known for its celebrity chats as well. Chaz Bono focused in on gratitude as a key step in his sobriety. He, also, reminded us that the necessity of time as a healer is real as he walked through the story of his gender transition.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was her hilarious self and gave us insight into the world of making a show. And what was very interesting was her declaration that she prefers to do ensemble work and not be the star. She finds that working along people who can encourage the best work in others in invigorating. And while she appreciates the “star” status she enjoys on Veep, it’s not accurate as the entire cast works as one cohesive unit.
And closing out the main stage was Michele Obama. Listening to her heart for children was emotional for all, including the former First Lady. She challenged us to think about what we put together today and its impact on tomorrow. What kind of workforce are we building? What kinds of opportunities does that give others? How can we make sure that ALL of the children are doing alright?
Peppered throughout the conference were other speakers who maintained the high bar set by the mainstage players. Again, a pursuit of excellence drove the conference.
Even if you didn’t attend WorkHuman, let us consider how we are building better work teams and expressing gratitude. Making the workplace more human involves communication, recognition and collaboration. Are you working towards that today? What do you have in place at work to monitor such a push? Revisit this desire often!
JLD (that’s Julia’s initials…just like she calls me JB, at least I want to believe that she does) gave another encouragement which was to have fun at all times. If you’re in a place where you can’t find or see the fun in the work, then something has to change. Shake things up a bit. Get back to dancing! Oh yeah, if you should see any pictures or video of me dancing at the conference, they are manipulated. I would never have such fun…