7 days before the UK’s Brexit referendum I started working with the European Union.
My commitment is to peace.
Between people this is cultivated and maintained through connection, communication and symbiosis. The same is true for countries. Europe has enjoyed it’s greatest period of prolonged peace since the inception of the EU. Like everything there are improvements and upgrades that can be made, but the fundamental principles lead to the betterment of society… connection, communication, symbiosis.
The Purpose I nominated for my work there was ‘Unity in Community’.
Interestingly that was the same as an award winning project my wife and I delivered for another government body years before. The essence of this Purpose statement is that the generation of a thriving community at the height of it’s effectiveness acts as a conduit for the same enlightenment throughout it’s associated bodies.
In other words to create a movement of higher possibility which spreads like a virus across the EU bodies to the member states and beyond.
Originally they hired me to deliver some communication training. The Purpose was something I held within. I did not mention it in any way formally or informally.
After my first training session I was sitting in their garden enjoying a summer drink and I met a woman who, it turned out, was heading up the EU’s study into epigenetics. “What’s epigenetics?" I asked. She explained that only about 5% of our gene pool is active and that occasionally another .5% or 1% becomes activated. When that happens people undergo radical shifts; some for better, some for worse. On one level people can lose all their resistance to diseases or become massively intolerant to foodstuffs. On another level they can become extraordinarily resistant to extreme temperatures. It was the X-men and epigenetic is the study of the factor that trigger the activation of dormant gene - food, stress, pollution, our thinking, population densities etc.
I asked her “who else is doing this research?” She told me “the big pharmaceutical companies and some universities but most of of the universities are sponsored by big pharma so they can’t publish their work. There are only a couple of bodies of our size and resource who are studying epigenetic in any serious way”.
I love corporates. I have worked with them for years and met some fantastic people and done some wonderful work but their Purpose is essentially to work in their own interests first and in the general interest second, if at all.
The EU’s purpose is to work first and last for the greater good.
Epigenetics is the study of the physical evolution of the human species. Do we really want to leave that to the organisations who work for their own interests? Don’t we want a second opinion on their findings?
It became clear to me that the value of organisations such as the EU cannot be measured on the scales discussed in pithy soundbites, tweets and newspaper headlines. It extends way beyond a single lifetime. We have to think in terms of the betterment of humanity more than short-termism.
I committed deeply to the EU and my purpose for it that night.
Since then my work has ‘organically’ spread throughout the bodies.
I have helped leaders develop radical new approaches to their work, their teams and the public at large. We are developing projects which could fundamentally shift the behavioural operating system of global bodies and I initiated a program to ‘win back 20% of people’s time every week’ (www.timehacks.life) . In a body of 500 people this equates to winning back over a year’s worth of time every week. It is literally a life-giving project which is having reverberations throughout my other client groups.
The Purpose gave rise to the projects and those projects are spreading virally.
Richard JACOBS is the C.E.O of YES, a leading Culture Change Consultancy specialised in mindset and behavioural change that designs and implements large scale transformation programs. Richard has been designing training, change programmes and media for 25 years. He has personally trained over 300,000 people, has won numerous awards and is a pioneer in his field integrating interactive theatre, improvisation, graphic novel storytelling and dynamic exercises into his programmes. He is a sought after speaker and the author of the groundbreaking books: "What's your Purpose?" , “The 7 Questions to find your Purpose” and the forthcoming "Rides of Passage".