How companies want to transform their people

Christmas at the company: team building or team unbuilding?
10 December, 2018
Moonshot Thinking
2 August, 2019

How companies want to transform their people

The routine that marks many of the professional challenges makes most days undifferentiated. Extraordinary and impacting moments are rare, as well as the recognition of their transformative power. However, certain experiences, or stories of experiences of someone close, shape the perspective of each one in different ways, depending on the emotions they cause and the learnings that motivate them.

Whether individual or collective, terrifying or passionate, experiences give people a unique property and are also what they seek as an escape from normality and stagnation. As human beings, brains are prepared to recognize and value what makes each one feel more alive.

Imagine that for the past ten years you had lived in New York and lived a lively and dynamic life as a club promoter. Put simply, you made money organizing parties. You had moved to New York to get away from your conservative Christian family and be able to be independent, which made you selfish and arrogant.But, at 28, you had a crisis of conscience when you realized that you were almost ruined spiritually, morally and emotionally. So, you decided to give your life a 180º turn and moved to Africa to do a year of volunteering. There, you were first exposed to extreme poverty. One year became two and, while there, you repeatedly saw people drinking water from wells, rivers or swamps. In observing this, it became clear that it was your duty to do something…

This moment, this decision-making that brings about a transformation, causes a ripple effect with several learnings and changes in perspective, which are transversal to the lives of those around us.

This wealth of impact draws attention to the corporate world, which is increasingly interested in investing in its human capital, in order to provide continuous learning and gradual growth, so that the skills developed are transferred to work.

This work, immersed in a context of current uncertainty, implies an increasing preparation to deal with constant change, in an agile, effective and efficient way. Not being superhuman, this preparation requires an upgrade in each one, a process of unlearning to learn again.

Along with learn by doing, by being with, by being coached, by being mentored, companies have to ensure that they impact the learning system with moments so strong that they guarantee the retention of knowledge and its transfer to day-to-day – the employee’s day, resulting in an increasingly evident bet on the activation of teams in shorter periods, of high impact, but above all with a strong educational purpose.

It is not surprising, therefore, that participation in truly immersive and transformational experiences is, at this moment, very much in demand, experiences that integrate both sides of the experiential aspect:
. Epistemically transformative experiences: those in which what is taught cannot be learned without active participation in the experience. The experience itself teaches what that type of experience is and gives the ability to imagine, recognize and cognitively code what it means to live it.

. Personally transformative experiences: those that mark and modify in a profound and fundamentally personal way. This result can happen through changing primary personal preferences, changing perceptions, desires and motivations and preferences, or changing the definition of intrinsic perspectives.

The search for transformative experiences, events or activities in such a remarkable way that what is learned could not be learned or represented cognitively without living it, guarantees the modification of our perspective on something internal in people. Providing them ensures that the participants reach the desired results to later reflect and use that experience as a mirror of the day-to-day work, applying the same strategies.

So let’s go back a little bit, back to Scott Harrison’s story, that it could be yours. After realizing that so many people had limited and unhygienic access to water, Scott investigated the topic and found that, in reality, 800 million people live without access to drinking water worldwide. That said, Scott decided to return to New York and start a project that could change the tragic situation he had observed. Scott decided to develop a charity, “Charity: Water”. He gathered a small team and together they began to chart the way to fulfill a great mission, that of bringing drinking water to all those who did not have access to it. In addition, “Charity: Water” advocated an innovative vision to reinvent the traditional model of non-governmental organizations, applying a 100% reversal and absolute transparency model. After 12 years, and with the help of one million employees, “Charity: Water” has already raised US $ 360 million and has financed more than 35 thousand projects to increase access to drinking water in 27 countries that, once completed, will provide drinking water to more than nine million people.

The story of Scott Harrison and “Charity: Water” illustrates the impact that certain experiences leave and the ability that has to profoundly change the personal and professional course of each one. Experiences change people, who then change companies and transform the global ecosystem. So the question arises: what are you doing to help accelerate this virtuous cycle?”


Luís Rosário
Immersis Partner