In a Harvard Business Review article called “The Great Resignation Didn’t Start with the Pandemic,” Joseph Fuller and William Kerr discussed the “Great Resignation” and explained how it did not begin with the COVID-19 pandemic, as many might have believed. Instead, they pointed out that “what we live through is not just short-term turbulence provoked by the pandemic but rather the continuation of a long-term trend.”
This long-term trend has grown to give rise to new challenges as the demand for diversity, equity, and inclusion also rises. Thus, an adventure unfolds. To examine what is going on here, we examine the Hero’s Journey.
An Adventure Unfolds
As the call to adventure grows louder in demand, we see our Hero leaders catapult into the changemaker role. Being a changemaker and modern-day hero means meeting more significant challenges and responsibilities to ensure better working conditions.
By supporting whole-person wellness and innovative programs, policies, and initiatives, inclusive leaders find creative ways to help whole-person effectiveness in the workplace. With duties often falling on the shoulders of business leaders who stand suddenly tasked with finding innovative solutions to gender equality, inclusion, pay equity, diversity initiatives, and more.
The Call to Adventure Getting Louder
The rising demand has come to call on inclusive leaders to embark on this epic journey of change and transformation that is not for the faint of heart. This demand symbolizes the growing need for creating an inclusive and collaborative culture that supports the wholeness and wellness of its people. This article will briefly explore how the Hero’s Journey storyline can apply to the transformation of workplace culture,
The Hero’s Journey and the Transformation of Culture
Much information about the Hero’s Journey and the various stages can apply to real life. But what about using it to transform an organization’s culture? There is a saying that says a business is only as strong as its people, and while this is true, it also takes a great deal of coordinated effort and planning to bring about sustainable change.
The transformation of culture requires an alignment on three primary phases; self-alignment, relational alignment, and collective alignment. The transformation of culture also requires a particular sequence that plays a vital role in how the adventure unfolds.
The A-Player Adventure from the Lens of the Hero’s Journey Storyline
Departure - The Road to Self-Alignment:
The Ordinary World - Fostering clique culture and other negative behaviors.
The Call to Adventure - This comes from the ever-growing demand from humans calling for change.
Refusing the Call to Adventure - The Reluctant Hero says, “Hell NO.” The hero is afraid to take action and sticks to what has been previously known, even if it is toxic.
Meeting the Mentor & Guide - The hero meets the Mentor who supports the Hero’s learning of crucial information for navigating the terrain ahead.
Crossing the Threshold - This is where positive behaviors are developed, such as Mastery of self-awareness, self-empowerment, emotional self-regulation, and all the tools needed to navigate and succeed in the next phase of the A-Player Adventure.
Initiation - The Road to Relational and Collective Alignment
Test, Allies, and Enemies - Meeting resistance, critics, & managing the fear of change.
Approach to the Inmost Cave - In this phase, challenges cause introspection.
The Ordeal - Facing the “dragons” and other challenges that, when conquered, cause change.
The Reward - The Hero obtains the secret “Elixir” to create an inclusive culture and ventures to bring the secret back to the ordinary world.
Return - The Road to Integration for Sustainable Change
The Road Back - The twists and turns on the road back home, filled with roadblocks, setbacks, resistance, and judgement from others
Resurrection - Hero discovers the strength to overcome setbacks
Return With the Elixir - Hero follows informed intuitive guidance step by step to apply the “Elixir” and enjoy the abundant spirit and outcomes that only flows from an inclusive culture and collaborative community.
The Hero’s Journey is a classic trope that can be traced to the ancient world. Our mythological stories of heroes overcoming obstacles follow the same pattern. We can all be heroes of our own stories. To spark lasting change we all can follow the stages to spark lasting and sustainable change.