It’s hard to believe October 26th marks the one-year publication anniversary of our book.
A lot has happened in the past 365 days: we have learned, accomplished, and grown in so many ways. We’d like to share some of these moments and insights with you.
What we learned
Publishing a book is not for the faint of heart. Writing the book was one level of effort and we, naively, thought once the manuscript was with the publisher for printing, our work was done. Were we wrong! The marketing and publicity campaign surrounding a successful book launch is daunting. By year-end we were exhausted and depleted – so we paused and took a much need break. We reflected on what we wanted: from our book experience, from our business, from our relationships – with each other, our clients, and those that work with us. When we came back, we were refreshed and determined to set better boundaries around our time and how we used it. We got clear about what we wanted to accomplish this year, and, what we did not.
Most importantly, we learned there is a whole community of folks out there doing great work to bring more humanity into the workplace. We are not alone; we do not have to do it all! This discovery energizes us the most. We have heard from and talked with so many people that also care deeply about humanity. And we see the impact our book has made to the conversation around how to bring more humanity to work.
This timely book comes at a pivot point in the labor market. The pandemic has triggered a shift in priorities resulting in the Great Resignation for some, and Great Expectations for others. “Humanity Works Better” shows us how to create the healthy, collaborative, trusting culture that people need now more than ever.
What we accomplished
Over the past 12 months we have worked hard to get our key message out: productivity is all about people. Working together is messy and most people do not know how to navigate it well. The results are behaviors that create toxicity and roadblocks that stall productivity. We shared our message in a multitude of ways: podcasts, publications, talks, news spots, YouTube, trainings and even our first joint keynote. Thousands of people purchased printed and electronic copies of our book. One of the major highlights was HBR publishing our article, With So Many People Quitting, Don’t Overlook Those Who Stay. As a follow-up, we were invited guests on HBR’s podcast, IdeaCast. We received tens of thousands of supportive responses from people all over the world.
We wrote Humanity Works Better because we saw the need for our message to be out there on a broader scale. The book propelled the conversation forward and unearthed a community of old and new voices who joined us. We have found so many people hungering for more humanity in the workplace (and in the world), who want to create environments where people and business can thrive, and want to learn how to do it.
The book became the focus of conversations in some of the funniest places. Deb was at the eye doctor and ended up helping her doctor figure out next steps to bring more humanity into his practice. Kate’s dental hygienist wanted to know all it as well. An IT technician was at Deb’s house and noticed the pile of books on her desk, which ignited a conversation. He left with a signed copy. And when we were doing a keynote address our hair and make-up people peppered us with questions about humanity and ended up buying the book!
It’s clear people are hungry for more humanity at work. The community that has sprouted up around our ideas has caused us to humbly, yet firmly, commit to making an impact – planting and watering the seeds of humanity wherever we go, whoever we talk to. One human at a time.
Humanity Works Better changed my understanding of my job as a CEO and plants a bold stake in the ground for a new way of working. I would never have believed Deb and Kate’s secrets to building a compassionate organization actually worked – until I saw them put into action at my own company. Every CEO should read this book and have their eyes opened to a new way of working.
How we have grown
We want every organization, from small mom & pop stores to Fortune 50 companies, to be places where humanity works better. The goal of publishing the book was for it to be the foundational piece – accessible and actionable – for everyone. That was our beginning. This year, we created a companion piece to the book: the HumanityWorks® Online Program. This is a blended-learning online program with two parts: independent, asynchronous reflection and learning, and facilitated integration with a cohort to deepen insights in an interactive, shared setting. Participants dive into four key mindsets, learn our super-pack of skills to be a good human, and apply each of our Five Practices into their own experiences. It is not necessary to have read the book to make meaning of the program content. This program provides a foundation for how to BE with others in your organization in a delivery mechanism that is flexible, scalable, and affordable.
In addition to growing our product offering, we provided training to hundreds of people this year. It’s been magical to see people transform; become more self-aware and intentional in how they apply our skills, tools, and techniques to be more human focused in their leadership. It matters. And it is courageous hard work to be a human-centered organization; to say you put your people first and to live it.
This book comes at a timely and critical moment. In the face of the Great Resignation, it is no longer an option for leaders to stay disengaged and detached from their greatest resource. As an educator, reading this book reminded me that students, like employees, are unable to create, investigate, or innovate unless they truly believe that they are safe to do so. Vulnerability in relationships requires more than lip service.
To support this courageous hard work, we made the decision to limit our client roster in 2022 and we spent this year focused on how to thoughtfully grow and scale HumanityWorks. We are excited by some infrastructure changes and by the addition to our team of facilitators.
Writing Humanity Works Better was a leap of faith – hoping that if we write it, they will come. This past year has shown us we did the right thing. You are all part of this movement. The world is changing. The world wants more humanity. We are here to be deeply immersed in this movement and help it grow. We are so glad you are here with us. Humanity works because of you.
Kate and Debbie