Sustainable OD

A blog dedicated to the wonderfull field of Organisation Development

Why I volunteer for Engage for Success

It was December when I first thought about writing this post… and yes like it sometimes happens I had productively procrastinated until today. I sit here, with exactly one month to go for our conference and am thinking back to the very first one in 2012.


As a human in the workplace I always have had what others consider an idealised idea of what life at work should be. I thought it should be fun, fulfilling, have an awesome boss who wants you to thrive, work colleagues that support you and maybe even friends, and where you could be yourself. I thought leaders should be visible, approachable, but most of all compassionate and human. However, very early in my career I discovered that this is more the exception rather than the rule. I many times hid parts of me at work because I wasn’t sure I could show them, other times I spoke out and challenged leaders just to then be shut down and told I was “too young” or even worse received passive aggressive behaviour. All along the way thinking, surely there are people who do things differently out there.

And yes, I have always worked in the people field, whether that has been in consulting, HR or in change programmes…so I guess I was expecting that if I was working in this field people would naturally get it…but I guess not.

However, there is one company who made me see that this “ideal” people told me I had was actually possible… and the funny thing is that I wasn’t structure in the people side of the business. However, I always went to work with a smile, felt challenged, learnt and even when I disagreed with something felt like I could voice it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely showing me that it was possible.

That is 1 out of 5 workplaces I have had the privilege of working in… I have learnt a lot in all of them but I feel my experience of the workplace has made me even more passionate about what we call employee engagement. For me this way of working, where people come to work for more than a pay check and not like zombies, just makes obvious sense. Can you imagine a world, an economy, a country, where everyone who goes to work, gets up, doesn’t press the snooze button, goes to work with a smile, faces challenges straight on, wants to learn, will be open, will be themselves, will innovate, create, thrive, and hence, help their organisation achieve whatever purpose it has will look like? I get goosebumps just thinking about it. That is why I volunteer, I wear my heart in my sleeve and a vision of a world that views work differently, not in a “I have to” but “I choose to” kind of way. I believe (and this may sound corny so get ready for it) that an engaged workforce is not only a vehicle to a successful organisation but can and would make the world a better place to live in. So yes, this is why I am so grateful I volunteer for this great cause and why I will continue to do so.


I hope to see you all at the conference this 22nd of March, and if you haven’t yet booked, go on… here is the link:

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