“I care more about my family and my career than I do about my friends—and myself,” director of Design and Development at Marriott Jennifer McLennan said as she scanned over some cards laid out before her. “I don’t know if that means I’m f***ed up!”
The revelation McLennan had was due to the work of Live in the Grey, a consultancy firm that assists businesses in constructing more “authentic workplaces” by way of teamwork, honesty, and communication. In their minds, the process of achieving that begins with self-examination on a personal level and to do that, they make use of the company’s custom 72-card “value” deck.
The cards work by asking participants to order them according to which values resonated with them most to which resonated the least. This method isn’t particularly easy since they can result in some pretty startling results on a personal level.
The importance of this, as Live in the Grey’s chief experience officer Kate Bednarski points out, is that it helps make work culture more personal, a goal that many companies have problems achieving in order to maintain employee engagement. The issue is that culture-building is detached and disjointed. “[People] want to do this as part of their work —not as professional development,” Bednarski explained.
Based on recent research, Bednarski pointed out that many workers nowadays have different expectations than their previous counterparts. Live in the Grey CEO Brad Lande summarized those priorities by stating that people today have a greater desire to feel connected and fulfilled with the people around them and their work and want to make a greater impact on the world around them.
The purpose of Live in the Grey’s work isn’t to enforce any type of meaning, but to create a more meaningful work culture. “We don’t get on a camel and look for meaning,” said Bednarski. “We create meaning.” In essence, the participants are the ones who determine what is important and where to go from there.