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What matters to me?

Clear communications. Corporate citizenship. Ethics. Transparency and honesty. Environmental responsibility. Employee care. Sharing opportunities. Training and career development. Family. A healthy work-life balance. Healthcare and well-being. Productive social interactions. Caring. Empathy. Positivity. Equality. Safety and security. Non-judgement. Flexibility. Understanding.

A few existential questions


What does it mean to be human?

What is the purpose of life?

What will make us truly happy? Fulfilled?

What makes life meaningful?

We've probably all asked ourselves these existential questions at some point. For some it's clear. For others, less so. For most of us, I'll wager, it's an evolutionary process. We compete - at school, at college, at work. We acquire - clothes, a home, a car, other material goods. We build relationships - with partners, with children and family, with colleagues and friends. Society seeks to dictate a path for us.


But wait... What truly brings us happiness?

Peel away the things we have acquired and there are probably three things that really, truly matter:

  1. Relationships.

  2. Health - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual.

  3. Our life balance.


The only constant is change

I've spent nearly a quarter of a century doing what I do, seeking to positively influence behavior through storytelling on behalf of my clients. I've seen many, many changes. Some have been damaging (fake news, alternative facts, gaslighting) but many have been positive (the demand for greater transparency and accountability, and the social engagement to enact meaningful changes).

For a long time now we have experienced increasing levels of stress generally in life. Technology has helped us exponentially of course, but it also comes with a cost. We’re always switched on it seems, the 9-to-5 job is the exception rather than the rule, and many of us work as in when we need to in order to get jobs done in an increasingly global marketplace. In tandem with this, we have seen increases in burnout, illnesses related to stress, and societal pressures, all have which have fueled stress to the extent that people simply crack. They are broken. More and more people suffer from depression, take prescription drugs, and become isolated or immune to emotions. 

It's not sustainable.

Out of adversity, systemic change

Adversity often births incredible movements that fundamentally change our world. Perhaps you feel it? This change. A shift in the way we do business. Growth is key, sustainable growth that is. And there’s no reason why the traditional model of marketing and communications can’t help fuel that sustainable growth. But beyond that, there are so many other types of growth that are really important.

The upside of technology is that if we are able to use it effectively and sensibly, then we can achieve more of a work-life balance. What the COVID-19 pandemic has shown is that many businesses can operate remotely. There a new models of operation that have been put in place during the pandemic. We may see some companies choosing to embrace a more flexible remote working model because it has a number of benefits in terms of employee flexibility, work-life balance, reduce commuting time and stress, and general well-being. We’re probably seeing a shift in attitude towards work. Historic rules are being examined. 


I believe normality is meant to be challenged. Rules are there to be rewritten. When people are seen as commodities then we have a problem. When the work-life balance is ignored, we have a problem.


Speaking personally, if I’m valued as a colleague, as an employee, as a team member, and if I’m given the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, and I feel an emotional and spiritual connection to what I’m doing, then I’m much more likely to want to grow with the same organization. Employee churn is a major problem for organizations. I worked at one time for one of the top two marketing and PR agencies in the world, and the employee turnover was insane. It was like a revolving door. And, while that name looks great on the resume, most employees simply couldn't continue to work in that environment.

If you can’t keep your team for more than a year then you don’t have a great deal of continuity in terms of ethos, quality of work, enthusiasm, and true believers in the cause. You have limited satisfaction because employees aren’t valued. It’s counterproductive to have to train people continually with the same stuff because you couldn’t hang on to the predecessors.

I believe there’s a huge opportunity for us to look at growth not just on an organizational level but also on a personal level. So we can be catalysts for organizational growth through using public relations and marketing communication to deliver growth to an organization but look holistically at personal growth as a key to longer-term happiness.

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