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Can Our Personal Lives Be Inspiration for Change at Work?

How can you introduce more innovation and creativity to your organization? What are some concrete solutions for doing so? 

One of the most powerful sources of innovation can be found in a surprising place: your personal life. You can draw inspiration from it to transform your professional life and reinvent your organization’s practices.

Take your relationship with your boss. Think about all the things you don’t tell him or her. Imagine if you had the same conversations with your boss as you do with your spouse.

Your boss would be aware of your fears, your vulnerability, your pressures, the moments of boredom when you drag your feet… By creating a real connection based on empathic listening, you can talk on a more personal level. Your boss can take the time to hear about your concerns, needs, expectations and emotions, as one naturally does with people they care about.

In a healthy, two-way relationship, bosses allow employees to challenge them, and they listen to their ideas and opinions. Not only do they get to know you, they also build a joint venture with you. They enable your dreams and aspirations.

We can apply this shift in perspective to other aspects of our professional life. For example, what if we were to prepare for meetings that way we plan a wedding? We would take the time to create invitations that make participants want to attend. We would clearly communicate our expectations of results. And we would go the extra mile in setting up the room.

You can also draw inspiration from how you support your kids as they go back to school to better integrate new employees and build their confidence. You prepare them even before they arrive, you encourage them to put their personal touch on their office, and you celebrate their first day as the beginning of a great adventure. You can also pinpoint critical moments in their integration and give them access to a key resource at those times (while checking in regularly, without waiting for the “report”).

Even self-awareness can be part of this approach. What if we took care of ourselves the way we take care of our cars? You listen for signs of problems with your car; similarly, you should be listening to yourself. Take a step back to get a better sense of the source of your problems and take action to solve them. Plan maintenance in advance, i.e., activities that recharge your batteries, inspire and get you back in shape.

Essentially, reinventing how your organization works starts with changing mindsets. When you take a new look at your environment, little by little, new ideas emerge and productive pleasure takes root.

If you were to choose one aspect of your personal life to change your organization, what would it be?


Article inspired especially by a workshop given at Congrès RH 2017.

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Étienne Beaulieu CPHR
  • Partner | Organizational Transformation & Strategy

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