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Culture Jolt #21 - Align engagement, not obligation

Culture Jolt #21 - Align engagement, not obligation

Welcome to our Conscious Innovator® process!

Are you ready for a new, insight-provoking “Jolt” … something designed to “rearrange your molecules” as it elicits your unique, innovative potential in life and work?

Jolts wake us up. They spur new self-awareness, new capabilities and values, and new actions. Paradoxically, we don’t learn from each Jolt – rather, each Jolt “learns us”! That is, a Jolt sits in the background of our consciousness and then prompts new insights and energy over time. 

Jolt #21: Align engagement, not obligation

Engagement expands. Obligation contracts.

Engagement is freely “showing up” to fulfill our personal sense of purpose and make a positive contribution, feeling deeply satisfied. Obligation is “hunkering down” under the pressure of measuring up to expectations, avoiding shame-and-blame rebuke.

Engagement is typical of “communities” where we work together on things that are personally and collectively meaningful. Obligation is typical of “tribes” where we feel the pressure to adapt to group expectations in order to be part of the “in crowd.”

Engagement stems from love and the experience that “I’m whole and valuable just the way I am.” Obligation stems from fear and the experience that “I’m flawed and need to prove my worth.”

Aligning engagement has a dual focus. It starts with being curious about what purpose we each feel for our lives, and the contribution we can naturally, whole-heartedly commit to. Integrating those purposes to innovate fulfils a fundamental purpose of business, as Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff says:

“Companies can do more than just make money. They can serve others. The business of business is improving the state of the world.”

The second focus deepens that connection by knowing and uplifting each other as human beings, each with our own motivations, talents, quirks. According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), engaged people report feeling focused and intensely involved in the work they do; they are enthusiastic and have a sense of urgency; they are proactive and adaptive in ways that expand their job roles, going beyond job descriptions to be innovative.

Tami Simon, the founder of Sounds True, a well-known publisher of wisdom teachings, has a commitment to fostering a high-purpose, high-engagement, awesome place to work. In their culture, people embrace the purpose of “waking up the world.” Alfred James, author of the Pocket Mindfulness blogs, describes the Sounds True culture this way:

“Sounds True supports people to be true to themselves, even in the workplace... encouraging its employees to interact with one another genuinely and with compassion. Committed to honoring every aspect of life, Sounds True encourages its employees to bring their furry friends to work. Now, as many as 15 canine companions attend work each day, sharing their positive vibes around the workplace.”

“Sounds True cultivates a casual and active work environment where people get their work done and have a good time while doing it. Concentrated yet relaxed, focused yet still open and engaging.”

When we align engagement, we naturally innovate in the spirit of “corporate satsang” – being in the company of good people who embody the fullness of who they are and do what they feel called to do.

-=-=-=- Now it's your turn -=-=-=-

Being a Conscious Innovator® has a 3 phase cyclical process: become aware, capable, and versatile. Try on this Jolt in your life and work, then take self-reflective time to engage in the process:

  1. Become aware – What is 1 new awareness you have about yourself, others and your situation?
  2. Identify your capability – What is 1 personal value and 1 strength you can draw from and put into practice?
  3. Take versatile action – What is 1 action you can take to apply your awareness and capability in ways you have not thought of before?

-=-=-=- An invitation to join our process and share your insights -=-=-=-

If you haven’t already, we’d love for you to join our process and share your own experiences, while learning from the experiences of others! We appreciate what one person said about the Jolt process itself:

Innovation is a world by itself. It can change lives and help people become more positive. Doing a Jolt is already something! A new habit that promotes innovation and reflection.

It’s totally FREE to participate. To sign up and join us, go to this link and follow the easy directions:

Even if you haven’t participated up to this point, it’s never too late to start the process! It’s like a concise gym workout that provides an insightful “pause that refreshes” and evokes your unique, innovative potential in life and work.

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