The Map of Meaning can offer new insights into specific aspects of meaningful work:
- career development.
- empowerment and engagement.
- strategic planning.
- client/stakeholder relationship.
- internal and external communication.
- performance review
The Map of Meaning provides a clear, rigorous and accessible framework for addressing key issues. Use it to increase:
- your wisdom as a leader.
- motivation and engagement – yours and theirs.
- shared purpose organisation wide.
- co-operation and empathy.
- fairness and morality.
- your ability to think in revolutionary ways about business.
- your ability to hold your organisation to account.
Exercise for organisation-wide thinking
The Map of Meaning helps people to think about the purpose and practice of their organisation in new ways. It helps define the value of meaningful work to an organisation.
Take any existing organisational practice: performance appraisal, a change management intervention, internal communication strategy. Ask yourself, or your team, how this practice helps people to experience meaningfulness at work. Go through each of the Four Pathways to Meaning and assess the practice against the criteria. Is there a section that is absent from your work? Does one section outweigh the others? What is appropriate? Use this understanding to think about how meaningfulness can be supported by practice. Then widen your inquiry into the Tensions and Inspiration and Reality of Self and Circumstances.
For example, if you are responsible for internal communication you might think about how a news-letter supports people to:
- maintain their integrity with themselves – write a story about moral challenges in the workplaces and what people could do.
- experience unity with others – a noticeboard including opportunities for engaging with others.
- serve others - news about happy customers and the difference made by our staff.
- express their full potential – results of a competition for the manager who best enables their staff to contribute.
- inspiration – something that is genuinely inspiring and moving that is going on in the organisation or the community.
- reality – an example of how people meet their current circumstances with inspiration and creativity.
You need to do this sincerely or it just becomes another meaningless duty!
This exercise helps people see and understand the fragmentation of current practices and how this fragmentation strips meaning from work. Use the framework to rethink the practice so that is becomes meaningful.
There are many more exercises that illuminate meaningfulness organisation-wide in The Map of Meaningful Work. Alternatively we can run workshops for you that will help you to increase your ability to understand and create meaningful work and meaningful workplaces.