The Business of Heart, Mind and Healing

For the Fusion 2.0 finale on day three of the conference, attendees moved from learning to connection on days one and two to emotion and action-driven on day three. People lined up at the testimonial booth, Learning Journal entries fresh in their minds, to share what exactly they planned to do with all of the inspiration and tools when they returned to their workplace as #FusionChangeAgent(s).

Even the speakers got in on the action, building on the momentum that Fusion and all of the ideas and connections need to be carried on past this inaugural conference. Many shared how this conference felt connected on a whole new level. The speakers didn’t just breeze in and out – they stayed for the learning. You could easily find yourself taking in a session with keynotes Tony Horton and Raj Sisodia learning right along next to you (true story). 

Ondra Berry, Creating a Thriving Workplace Culture

If attendees came into Friday wondering how they would find the energy to process the previous two days of learning and take in more, Ondra answered them with an emphatic I will bring the energy. Ondra, Senior VP MGM Resort International, has been championing leadership, diversity and organizational change for over 25 years. He attributes his ability to success in this area to attitude. “Attitude matters. Companies are spending too much time on skill set and tool set development and very little time on heart and mind.”

Get the employee attitude right and they’ll be ambassadors who rave about your company – its product or service and the people – without prompting. To create this culture of attitude, leadership must first embrace the vision, values and daily practices set forth as their North Star.

Ondra stressed the value of making a defining moment everyday and by building this into culture. Employees seek and create a good beginning, good middle and good end to every day. Companies that do culture right tell their story well, have phenomenal on-boarding and a great system of coaching and feedback. Ondra’s enthusiasm had most of us wondering how we could sign up to be the waitress in his organization who raved about the ribs.

Morning Sessions and Labs

Six morning breakout sessions and learning labs covered all of the six program tracks and included The Art of Purposeful Leadership with Craig Neal of The Center for Purposeful Leadership, Shifting the Focus from Weight to Wellbeing with Rebecca Johnson of Vidl Solutions, Safety and Risk with Tony Horton of Real Safety, Delivering the Ultimate Employee Promise with Andrew Sykes of Habits at Work, and Unlocking Purpose at Work with Arthur Woods of Imperative.

The Art of Purposeful Leadership

In this session packed full of purposeful tools, Craig Neal, The Center for Purposeful Leadership, began with one simple idea: A purposeful leader is anyone who steps up to make a positive impact in the world. Craig and his wife and business partner, Patricia Neal, had a cadence to their sharing that made the experiences in this session delightful. In a U-shaped seating arrangement with a range of tactical items at our fingertips, the group practiced “stringing the beads,” where each person contributed their response to a prompt like what gets you excited to get out of bed every morning?

Beyond the straightforward response of, “an alarm clock,” each comment or bead, told a story about the person and at the end, a collective story of the group. Craig and Patricia walked us through The Napkin Test, by Richard Leider, an Art of Convening exercise to outline nine steps to thoughtful collaboration, and a Conversational Intelligence Assessment to rank ourselves and select one area to improve upon. 

Facilitated Learning Sessions + Conference Tools

After morning session, the full group came back to the last of the conference’s three 40-45 minute facilitating learning sessions. Guided by the conference emcee, Darryl Sellers, each session followed a similar format. There were prompts for written thoughts and intentional time to put pen to paper with actions to take upon returning back to the workplace. The coolest part about this whole process was the attendees’ Learning Journals, created by Tim Foss of More Belief. The 100-page journals were designed with white space for notes and perforated cards to tear out and post within daily sight for action and accountability. 

Raj Sisodia, The Healing Organization

Raj Sisodia, co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. was nothing less than an incredible way to close the conference. Raj bookended what Bob Chapman, Raj’s Everybody Mattersco-author, started as the first conference keynote on the theme of business is fundamentally about healing.

Raj put forth a call to action for businesses to take responsibility, “We are the only species that is systematically destroying our habit and we continue to allow businesses to get away with it.” He talked about the cumulative impact of toxic waste, noting that the human costs of doing business are unconscionably high. Layer business practices with the fact that 96% of senior executives experience burnout and that most Americans don’t have a cushion of more than $400 in their bank account, and you have a whole lot of hurting for the planet and people.

To understand sources of hurting and behavior in business, Raj outlined the four energies for us, which include masculine, feminine, elder and child. Each energy has a mature (positive) and hyper (negative) quality within individuals and as Raj would argue, business. A history buff, Raj walked us through how these energies show up and in particular how the hyper-masculine development of business in America is responsible for society’s suffering.

He left us with the ideas like “the cunningness of others is our greatest opportunity,” meaning that when we see businesses contributing to suffering we need to step in and address it and do better. And finally the idea that:

You can heal both the past and present in the present moment. Business is fundamentally about healing. We must exist to serve others.

-- The Fusion 2.0 Conference, November 7-9, a revolution to re-humanize the workplace, delivers the practical knowledge, skills, and inspiration to lead positive change in the workplace. It’s a multi-disciplinary experience where like-minded professionals who care deeply about wellbeing create an action plan and design the support necessary to effect positive change.

-- This event recap is not inclusive of every session during the day on November 9, 2018, It’s intended to give attendees and anyone interested some of the highlights and flavor of the day.