Making meaning by the sea
What prompted 500 people to converge on the English seaside, Brighton specifically, on a cold, crisp Thursday in November? Meaning, that’s what.
The Meaning 2018 conference was the latest in this annual gathering of ‘people who believe business has a critical role to play in creating a more sustainable, equitable and human world.’ A view we wholeheartedly subscribe to at azzur and enshrined in our purpose ‘to help conscious leaders create the new era of work for the greater good’.
Speakers and seminars explored the importance of meaning at work through a range of lenses including: conscious capitalism, combining the arts with business to shape the powerful questions and enquiries that will unlock greater creativity, the importance of emotional intelligence as a key leadership skill.
Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrabortty concluded the lack of meaningful work in the Welsh Valleys – denuded of mining – had led to people voting for Brexit as an angry protest rather than a rejection of immigration or EU control.
Prof. Marjo Lips-Wiersma talked about the need for organisations to create meaning for employees in a world where the speed/pace of change and increasing loss of professional autonomy are creating anxiety about our future role. This touches on how much power leaders will cede and the willingness and readiness of individual employees to take on more responsibility.
This responsibility theme, and its value, was explored in a session about the Buurtzorg care model. invented in the Netherlands and now being adopted in the NHS, this sees self-managing teams of community nurses delivering higher quality healthcare outcomes working in partnership with each patient and their families.
Self-management or a sense of ownership and control, is one of the vital aspects of a meaningful workplace according to McKinsey research https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-link-between-meaning-and-organizational-health which shows that people who find meaning at work are happier, more productive and more engaged, contributing to healthier and more successful organisations.