Creating the Environment for People to do their Best Work

Creating the Environment for People to do their Best Work -Perspectives on Leadership and Innovation

It is important to recognize business as a human endeavor and create a safe and inclusive environment for people to collaborate. This approach enables individuals to feel heard, seen, and designed for, fostering their best ideas and clear thinking. BentoBoxes are designed to create conditions that facilitate breakthrough experiences that strengthen team bonds and enhance organizational alignment.

By focusing on the conditions for an authentic exchange of ideas, we set the stage for meaningful collaboration in the activities that follow. It encourages openness to others’ ideas where true collaboration and partnerships emerge, making BentoBoxes a tool for “radical collaboration.” Each BentoBox starts with a “collaboration kickstarter,” allowing individuals to reveal their best thinking and intentions, supporting subsequent activities within the BentoBox.

Key Takeaways

  • Business is ultimately a human endeavor, so it is important to recognize the human aspect in work.
  • Creating an open and inclusive space is crucial for enabling individuals to feel heard, seen, and designed for.
  • The BentoBox process serves to facilitate breakthrough experiences, strengthen team bonds, and enhance organizational alignment.
  • Lowering barriers and fostering openness to others’ ideas promotes true collaboration and partnerships.

The Conversation

Question: One of the first things that you’ll notice as you look at all of the different BentoBoxes is that pretty much every BentoBox starts off with creating a safe space for the participants. Can you tell us why that is so important for the work that then happens in a BentoBox?

Jarin: As I mentioned when talking about the self-guided nature, with this size of team and this kind of work, it brings out a lot for people. Zooming out, that’s why SYPartners and its philosophy, or the core insight that Keith and SYPartners had early on in the evolution of their consultancy, was that business is ultimately a human endeavor.

I know that all seems very obvious to us now, but I think in the nineties that wasn’t really something that was thought about too much in that humans have feelings, and humans have context. To work really well we have to look at the work through a lens of humanity. And so we need to help the humans who are engaging in any kind of business endeavor to feel heard, seen, designed for, and ultimately safe so they can really bring out their best ideas, bring out their clearest thinking or honest feelings.

And SYPartners’ work has been about creating the conditions or the container or the structure or the safety for people to do that, and to do it in a way that is actually quite cathartic for the collective, for the organization, and helps ideas get stronger, helps the bonds between within teams, and between teams, and in an organization gets stronger. Alignment gets truer and the sense of direction gets clearer.

And so I think that it’s all humans and human systems. So this ritual of creating a safe space, it may seem like a small thing and maybe can feel repetitive if you’re doing a BentoBox over and over, or many BentoBoxes. But I think it’s really important as a stage setting container, creating a moment or gesture.

Tom: And it’s so critical for people to be open to others’ ideas in a BentoBox process in these kind of icebreakers, but they’re really more context setting and going back to these very fundamental questions of “How might we?” types of questions.

So one of the things that we see that’s common amongst all the teams and all the BentoBoxes is that once these barriers to others are lowered, real collaboration starts to take hold. And one of the things we say is, “it’s a tool for radical collaboration” because if we can lower the barriers between people as they go through these activities, we can see true collaboration and true partnerships starting to evolve in the process.

So I think these tone setting, and context setting elements in the first instances of each BentoBox is more about “Who am I authentically?” or “Why am I here?”. Asking “If I were to do this, how would you receive me?” and “How would we approach this together?” It’s almost like a collaboration kickstarter a bit because people can reveal their true selves and their real intentions of why they showed up, and why they’re there. And it works very well to support all of the activities that follow in each BentoBox.

About the podcast

“Perspectives on Leadership and Innovation” is a podcast hosted by Tom Pedersen, Founder and CEO of BentoBox Innovation.

With special guest Jarin Tabata, Global Consultant, Transformation and Innovation.