“I don’t get the image choice. I’m not getting this idea of peaceful coexistence.”
These were a couple of comments I received from market experts who reviewed the first draft of my new training catalogue.
Before answering these comments, I want to step back for a bit.
I recently had the privilege of listening to a presentation by Social Entrepreneur and Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Zeta Cobb. She inspired this article. The profound appreciation of her native home of Fogo and how she reimagined, redesigned, and revived the community, is what many of us would love to see happen to our own birthplaces.
In the words of Dennis Minty, “These outport communities stimulate the soul.”
Communities like Fogo, and my home of Francois, remind us of the simplicities in life that make us happy, about the differences in wants and needs, the importance of knowing the people who support you, and the allure of the natural landscape is so spiritual.
These rooted characteristics of our ancestral homes, the environment and the culture illustrate how we can impactfully influence our complex work environments.
Peaceful coexistence is quite simply, living together in peace rather than in discord. There’s harmony, tranquillity, and compassion. Peace is a fundamental component of community development, personal growth and survival of our planet. At the heart of every community and work culture, lies a need to advance peaceful co-existence to enhance productive meaningful lives and sustainable societies.
There’s a lot we can l learn from communities like Francois. These isolated rural villages represent a condensed version of how we should be co-existing in our workplaces. They showcase many drivers that can bring about positive change in the broader environment.
- Shared identity – who we are, what we stand for, and the importance of having standards for mutual support and collective self-efficacy.
- Shared purpose is our ‘why’. This is the beating heart of any organization. Size doesn’t matter. It is the reason why work strengthens social values and contributes to a greater good.
- Common objectives will keep everyone on course so the end goal can be achieved. It provides focus and direction, sets expectations, and most notably, provides motivation.
- Shared interests define how we relate to one another. How we connect. It goes hand-in-hand with care and compassion. Both shared values and caring for our colleagues will lead to social connections at work.
- Common behaviour advocates for the interests, needs and wants of others. This vital factor will determine an entire experience in the workplace.
These drivers of community neighbourhoods are no different than the foundations of a community workplace. Humans and humanity, and how we relate to one another are the ultimate drivers of successful business.
Life offers so many coexisting lessons. The communities of Francois, Fogo, and countless others model what it takes to ‘make it work’. The cover of my catalogue represents everything I’m passionate about, that in my opinion – and my experience – will nurture happy healthy work environments.
- Promote interaction
- Address concerns with sensitivity
- Leaders who stand by core values
- Common goals
- Freedom of expression
- Clear policies and obligations
- Celebrate heritage and traditions
- Effective communication
- Make smart decisions
My banner says, “Maximize your greatest asset-your people.” The characteristics of a remote community are needed in an organization because everything begins with its people.
Accomplished author, speaker and facilitator, Mary Jane Copps once said to me, “When we sell, it’s not for ourselves, it’s for others. It’s about the other person. Bring your genuine self into the conversation.”
My genuine self is explained clearly on my cover.