We’re at an inflection point and it’s time for a business culture shift. Today we have Mike Vacanti, the founder of the HumansFirst Club, here to share about the movement, the community, and what happens when you bring like-minded and like-hearted people together to put humans first. Listen to the full episode here:
What is the HumansFirst Club?
It’s a consortium of people interested in understanding and recognizing that we can create business environments where people can grow and thrive. Its simple mission is to ‘ignite and accelerate a shift in business culture that values humans first.’
Where did this idea come from?
When Mike first started his consulting work, he zeroed in on some key phrases: “people are your business,” “it’s much more than what we accomplish, it’s who we become along the journey,” and “the intent to lift others.”
He’s always had a human-centered approach to helping companies, and it was his idea to get a bunch of people in the room together and talk about being human. That was the first HumansFirst Club event.
How do you describe the HumansFirst Club?
It’s a movement. People are raising their hands from different cities and countries asking for this to take place there. It’s time we started the dialogue because we can do more collectively than any one of us could do alone. There’s a collection of talents coming together and combined, it’s a wonderful playground.
What does it mean to be human first?
It’s re-prioritization, not a replacement. We’ve created processes and systems, and at some point, the human element — the employee — has become just another part of that process.
We can’t squeeze any more capacity out of humans, so now it’s time to see how we can expandcapacity. Take an element from your systems and processes, then prioritize people over everything that goes on: does that change the process? Does it enhance it? Break it? Can we make it better?
What might people expect at a HumansFirst Club event? How is it different?
Where most events are “talk-to” events, a HumansFirst Club event is interactive. Participants are leaders who are volunteeringto hang out and have real conversations about their experiences in their daily work as leaders.
Participants get the chance to let their guards down, engage and connect, and belong. There’s so much value in the back-and-forth with everybody: it’s comfortable, it’s unique, and it’s needed.
What kind of feedback have you received from these initial meetings?
“Something so simple and obvious apparently wasn’t.” The statement is a testament to how powerful it can be to make “humans first” the focus and address just that. And everybody knows they stand a great chance of enjoying work the next day better than they did today.
If somebody wanted to host or organize a HumansFirst Club meeting in their community, could they do that?
The answer is always yes.
What’s your hope for the world if this movement takes off and flourishes?
Mike would love to see the overall concept continue to bloom and grow, but at the same time, bring the seeds from that and plant them into the hearts of new leaders, our corporations, and our communities. These are principles that need to be in place for businesses to be sustainable as we go through this era of rapid change.
Set aside your expectations of what you’re going to experience. This really is a true heartfelt connection to other human beings with a desire to do better. You’re welcome. You belong. So take down your guard, come with curiosity, share your voice, and bring your ideas.