In 2009, Jeffrey Hansler and Jim Dowd began their organizational and business development work together. By 2011, they had four major projects underway in a diverse group of industries: union, medical, and travel.
As often happens on cultural change projects, the executives who initiated the project were often the ones who resisted the change successes. They would pull resources or shift focus and work away from an area nearly secured to an area not ready for changes. While this is common behavior during organizational change, the behavior is also remarkably resistant to eradication.
We are suspicious of change because change contains risk. We seek familiar patterns as part of our survival instinct. Change creates stress, taxes brain functions, increases adrenaline levels, hijacks the physical body, and narrows vision. Change creates fear and the natural human response is to seek control. Even if that control means removing the very changes desired.
In my research, I discovered Dr. Stuart Brown’s work The Science of Play: Why Play. “Our heritage as humans is to…play. Yes, we are built to play, and built by play.” And the benefits of play for adults include:
- stress relief
- improved brain function
- mind stimulation
- creativity boost
- maintained physical strength and flexibility
- improved relationships and connections with others
- Improved productivity
- Developed social skills
As you can see, adult play counteracts all the consequences of change.
Enter Rona Lewis. Rona has been introducing attuned and purposeful play to organization for years. Jeffrey and Rona began talking in November of 2020 about the role of play in organizational development projects. With the pandemic raging, they decided to continue research and share their insights along with others in a podcast. They spent a year planning their podcast because according to Steven Goldstein of amplifimedia.com of the 2.44 to 4 million podcasts, less than 200,000 have 10 or more episodes with a new podcast produced last week.
In March of 2022, they introduced their first podcast. As they find their ‘voice’, Jeffrey is learning the Adobe Suite for editing the audio and video files – and he has a great deal to learn. It is all part of their brand and message – always keep learning and celebrate your failures along the way.
We hope you enjoy our efforts, and they contribute to your life. Meanwhile, play is a critical part of the organizational and business development projects ahead.