What does it mean to fully participate?
In the 4 Keys To Creating Evolved Business Systems I wrote about the keys that we’re keeping in mind as we build our new business model at Transformation Agency.
One of those four keys is that we value contribution over effort, in an attempt to shift the collective idea that working harder is the way to produce more results both personally and professionally.
By having a pay structure within the company that values contribution over effort, we’re able to measure and compensate each member of the company based on their contribution…
…which includes not only the work that they’re doing, but also the energy with which they show up in the world, as well as how present and available they are.
As a millennial, this way of working is a substantial improvement on what I was taught work had to be.
Earlier in my life I worked for corporations that were under a standard business model that had a CEO, Vice President, Managers, etc…all the way down to employees.
Regardless of how much I contributed to the company, I was paid the same amount — an hourly wage multiplied by the number of hours I worked.
This was a challenging experience for me as someone who valued results and saw through a lot of cultural ideals like “working longer and working harder is equal to more results.” No matter how good of results I got for the company, I was still compensated the same, and sometimes less than people who were just working hard but not producing anything valuable.
Here at Transformation Agency, we navigate things differently.
One of our core values is Participation. This is how we measure our contribution to the business, and it is not based on the amount of hours worked.
Rather than being based on hours worked, it’s based on:
- The quality of the work we’re doing
- The tangible results we’re producing for the company
- The energy we’re emanating on a personal level
- How available we are to help others when they need it or are stuck
I’d like to place emphasis on the last two of these, as I think they are the key to what it means to me to fully participate and contribute.
Participation to me doesn’t mean to just “do the work” on a physical, mechanical level. It means to not only participate in the work activities that need to be done, but also to participate fully in life.
- Taking courageous steps in the face of fear or doubt
- Letting go of fears that are keeping me stuck
- Being available for difficult conversations to be had between team members and the people closest to me
- Taking space to attend to my needs, my physical health, my creative impulses, my friendships, etc.
This is a very different approach to a corporation that values growth in the generalized business sense.
Here, being rewarded for participation is being rewarded for being you.
As humans, we want to grow. We want to learn. We want to face our fears and learn from our mistakes.
We want to evolve and learn more about ourselves, others, and the world.
If I’m feeling better, and I’m growing on a personal level, then that growth and energy is impacting the business in a positive way. If I fail to participate in my life, and I only show up to work to “get stuff done,” it can be felt by the group as my own growth process is stunted.
By using participation as a metric for success, we’re linking our own personal growth journeys to the success of the company, which I believe is more in tune with reality and with what is actually necessary to support company growth.