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Jan’s Corner: Business Thanksgiving

This is the week that most Americans sit down around the table with the people they love to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is one of the national holidays that reunites families and allows them be present and thankful to each other, for each other as well as for what they already have.

My Own Thanksgiving

I really like the idea of stopping and giving thanks. More than fifteen years ago I was fortunate to have experienced the celebration with my friends and distant family in California.

It was much more than just dining with people I cared about and eating a large roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and a abundance of other types of food that filled the dinner table. In the atmosphere of the day I felt nourished at a much deeper level. The sacred and festive aura of the day expanded my sense of belonging, accomplishment, and commitment to what mattered most.

Team Thanksgiving

With the hindsight I wonder what if Thanksgiving was not just a practice and holiday that American families celebrate once a year? What if we could embrace this powerful idea and practice it regularly in our teams and within our businesses?

Yes, I might sound obvious or even trivial. However, how many opportunities do you allow yourself and your team to stop and just be together with the sole agenda of being thankful? Thankful for having had a chance to working towards a shared vision. Thankful for and present to everyone’s commitment and contribution. Thankful for what you have accomplished. Thankful for the opportunity to be and work together.

I know there are many corporate and team retreats where celebrating successes and acknowledging employees is on the agenda. However, what I suggest is maybe a bit deeper.

What if thanksgiving was not just a part of the agenda but the full agenda once, twice or several times a year?

In a way that encourages presence not just presentation, belonging not just gathering and appreciation of all not just praise of some.

Moreover, what if thanksgiving became a part of how everyday business done in your
team? In a way that thanksgiving and appreciation is given in small and frequent ways on a daily basis – many of its forms.

One Part of A Whole

As business is such an important aspect of our lives, our growth and our individual and collective contribution, I believe that equally here we would all truly benefit from the same sacred and festive aura of Thanksgiving to expand our sense of belonging, accomplishment, and commitment to what matters most as I did and many others have been experiencing with our friends and family on the special day.

Gandhi said that “there is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”

And the same is valid in business. Giving thanks may sometimes seem to slow things down, but because it reignites from within it might be one of the best investment that you make.

Thank you for reading and happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!

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