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Nurturing People: Crisis, Calling, and Change

Blog | Building Culture   |   April 21, 2015

I spent a large part of my career in the highly-competitive world of business development, sales, and marketing. Looking back at my experience with people and businesses through the years, one key insight stands out: The most valuable asset an organisation can have is people who value people.

People-centered culture
Just a few months ago, our training team facilitated a pottery-themed training session for a client. Their group was experiencing friction and strained relationships. Two opposing parties in the organization just couldn’t get along, so imagine how morale and productivity was affected. During the session, as they went through the experiential learning and shared their reflections, they felt something change in their hearts. They saw beyond the walls they built between each other; they saw each other as teammates and comrades. Casting ill feelings aside, they began to appreciate each other. They realized the destructiveness of office politics and began crying, laughing, hugging.

Tension, low morale, bad relationships, misguided culture—these are real and painful issues in the workplace and they affect people more than they want to admit. The workplace is where we invest a great deal of our time and it’s a big part of who we are. Work culture and relationships are more powerful than most of us realize.

It’s wonderfully satisfying when participants overcome hurdles and discover truths about themselves, others, and their situations. This brings a lasting change that leads to breakthroughs, new ways of thinking and doing, better work performance, and greater enjoyment and sense of fulfillment.

From developing businesses to nurturing people

Seven years ago I found myself struggling with finding meaning in my work. I experienced a mid-life crisis, during what should have been the peak of my career. I had a strong sense that there was more for me to pursue. After much searching I found and embraced my calling: to help people discover and develop their potential, enabling them to live fruitful and fulfilling lives. In all my years of corporate business, I had always enjoyed leading team members and mentoring them. Finally, I found my focus and pursued moving from developing and growing businesses to developing and growing people.

I remained at the company I was working for at the time, where I transitioned into the area of leadership development and employee engagement. This paved the way for a full-time role in a Learning & Development organization where my corporate experience helped enrich the Learning & Development experience for clients.

And now, at ROHEI, I am truly grateful to live out my calling, and to be working with an amazing, passionate team with a sincere love for people. We put our heart and soul into every program we contextualize and conduct, for our clients, and every single person we train. It’s wonderful when clients invest in training for their staff, and every time they do, it’s an opportunity for us to give them an inspiring experience.

Initiating meaningful and lasting change

A few months ago, a corporation came to us seeking a performance boost in their organization. What they needed was a change in work culture and a renewed spirit of excellence. We trained their leadership team and helped them adopt a culture of relating to one another and appreciating each other. Our focus on building up their leaders made a deep impact on them and communicated how valuing people goes a long way. We helped them create a culture that brought out the best in their people. We truly believe that when you build people up, performance follows. This transformed the way they worked, and after some follow-up with them, we learned that the team brought their game up to a whole new level.

That’s one of the most rewarding things about being a trainer, seeing participants experience a shift in perspective that changes the way they value and interact with one another. It’s the kind of change you know is not just going to impact their work, but other areas in life as well—family, relationships, and their future.

Questions to ponder on:

1. What kind of change would you like to experience in your life or in your work culture?

2. How are you going to improve your status quo and make a lasting impact in your organization?

Please feel free to share your thoughts at

Calvin is a Principal Consultant at ROHEI.

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