Work and Wellbeing · 25 February 2022

Better People Make Better Companies, and Ultimately a Better World

It’s all about being comfort zone disruptors.

If you want better people, better companies and a better world, you need to combine the three. You can’t work with any of them in isolation. Companies and individuals need to step out of their comfort zones to be the best that they can be.

In 2011 Alice Hooper spent 30 days in Brazil working with the Comunidade dos Pequenos Profetas (CPP), a children’s rights NGO based in Recife, whose mission is to improve the quality of life of children and adolescents in disadvantaged urban areas through their reintegration into civil society and job market.

Alice came from Leo Burnett London, and while still fully employed at the advertising agency, she was involved with their professional development programme with The International Exchange (TIE).

Her project objective was to use what she knew from the advertising world to help develop a communications campaign to generate awareness in Recife’s middle class of CPP’s vital work and attract donations to the organization.

When her project was over, she started to reflect on the experience. She talked about noticing something different about the other people from Leo Burnett who had been on the programme previously. She said that there was something different about them when they returned, and at the time she couldn’t put her finger on it.

But in Brazil, it become clear to her. Alice’s experience awakened in her the courage and clarity to connect with something bigger than herself.

“I’ve got that now”, she said, “And I have to do something with the learnings and this newfound energy”.

She had found her purpose.

And from then on, she was on a mission.

This mission ended up creating a new purpose driven global division within Leo Burnett in 2012 called Change. They won lucrative new business and won numerous awards.As Zig Ziglar says, “The basic goal-reaching principle is to understand that you go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you will be able to see farther”.
The key with learning is to find ways that get you from looking at life through a narrow hole, to providing you with a birds-eye-view; a much broader perspective on the world and our individual and communal roles within it.
Traditional teaching methods simply transfer skills or knowledge from one person to another. The methods are functional.

However, it’s like peering down a narrow hole to get a better understanding of wider possibilities.
Experiential learning is unique as it gets people involved and challenges their thinking. The result is everything mentioned above.
People become fully involved in the learning, not just using their skills or job abilities. It becomes personally relevant and therefore becomes transformational at an individual and corporate level.
Growth doesn’t happen inside our comfort zones, our area of expertise or our “professional bubble”. It happens in immersive experiences that push boundaries and question the status at any level, personal or corporate. Existing within comfort zones can be very limiting and doesn’t offer people incentive to be the best they can be. Choosing to stay “safe” from critics, exposure and risk people essentially give up their right and power to be and do their best, plateauing, and in the end, compromising their progress in life and work.

And who wants to live like that? But this growth is the responsibility of everyone involved – individuals need to have the courage and make the time and investment to see the world in different ways and push themselves to be able to unearth their magic.

Companies also need to recognise that people are yearning to be and do more, they are looking for enrichment, wanting to find ways to unearth their purpose.


 
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