WHO WE ARE
A workplace change initiative
Over the years of witnessing the way different workplaces operate, Beth James (founder of HumanFirst) noticed the missing link between what makes a thriving organisation versus a toxic, burnt out one. And it was simple. The companies that had lost touch with their inner humanity, that became all about numbers, bottom line, graphs, efficiencies and output were the ones that people didn't want to work at and were naturally less engaged. From this place, the idea of HumanFirst was born. Bringing the humanity back to the workplace, while aligning the way we work with real, human values rather than an old mechanistic system.
The deeper story of how HumanFirst was brought to life
HumanFirst was born of a desire to create a healthier way of working. The current system that business is built on dates back to the Industrial Revolution when productivity and efficiency was valued over human energy and output. Over time, the digital world further evolved the way we work and spreadsheets, databases and charts created a need to categorise everything in to boxes to be measured & optimised. Business has hinged itself on these traditional & mechanistic principles for a long time but as society progresses it is becoming apparent that this way of working is out of sync with our basic humanity.
BUSINESS MUST ADAPT
The business world focuses on boosting profits over creativity and innovation. To some degree this makes sense but if we were to expand our thinking beyond what we have been conditioned to believe- how could we possibly see 'business' with new eyes? HumanFirst is a new vision for the way we run organisations. In today's world the age-old giants of business can easily be toppled by a fast-thinking start-up. This is the very basis of disruptors like Uber and Hulu. Why stick to old, clunky systems when there are new and brilliant ideas on the table? It is imperative that modern organisations become more dynamic and agile in order to stay innovative, keep their share of the market and retain employees.
ORGANISATION = ORGANISM
Research on the etymology of the word "organisation" shows links to the word "organism". Recognising this connection illuminates new ways of thinking about organisations. Rather than a means for mechanical output, an organisation can be seen as a dynamic, moving system comprising of many parts. HumanFirst organisations recognise the ever shifting nature of their internal system and the myriad different parts that comprise it. In particular, they recognise the humanity that "drives the machine" and underpins everything that we do.
OUR HUMANITY SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED
We are not simply "employees". Just as we are not acquisitions or end users or numbers on a spreadsheet. We are humans. People with stories. With needs, desires and behaviours. Each of us searching for our rightful place in the world. An organisation that recognises the inherent humanity of which it is built on, automatically sets itself apart. These are the ones that humans feel at home in. That they want to give their best to. That they tell their friends about. These organisations know how to speak right to the heart, in a human voice. Business lingo is out and natural conversation is in. Because at the end of the day we are talking to humans and business is not our native language.
THE HUMANFIRST INITIATIVE
HumanFirst is a new way of looking at traditional business. It's a system for reshaping an organisation so that human values are embedded in all that they do. It rebuilds the way we think about employees, customers and suppliers/partners so they are seen and recognised as humans rather than numbers on a page. It assesses the impact of it's work on society and local community and learns how to take responsibility for that impact. But above all, it is led with purpose and a greater vision of how it is going to serve the world.
THE HUMANS BEHIND HUMANFIRST
In the spirit of being human, we like to share true insight in to the people behind this initative
Beth James is a writer, brand consultant and founder of Human First
Born in Melbourne but raised in Sydney she also lived 10 years in Berlin, Germany where she enjoyed being immersed in a totally different culture
She is most at home on the beach and has recently relocated to the NSW coast to balance work with a laid-back lifestyle
She is trained as a Meditation & Yoga Nidra teacher and enjoys teaching classes + group sessions
She clocked up almost 20 years work experience at various companies from publishing houses to advertising agencies to tech start-ups.
Her expertise lies in authentic branding and learning to "keep it real", along with company culture, organisational development and employee engagement