Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform and one of the industry’s top cloud PBX solutions for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. You can find her on LinkedIn.
Ikigai, which means “a reason for being”, is a Japanese word that has gently risen to the forefront of the business world, like a whale coming up to greet the dawn. It is a welcome wave of thoughtfulness and quiet in the face of a usually loud, blustering, profit-at-all-costs model.
The Ikigai concept beckons to us, asking us to consider the question: What do I get up for in the mornings? For most of us, the answer is not “money”.
Money, for most people, is a means to an end. If you ask people at the end of their lives what they wish they could have done differently, the answers are not usually “I wish I’d made more money”. They’re along the lines of “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends”.
Heart matters, both in our personal lives and in business. It seems a bit short-sighted to assume otherwise or to see business as totally apart from our personal values. The industrial revolution saw people exchanging their labor for money and becoming increasingly alienated from the joys of pouring their hearts into their creative endeavors and trade. They became cogs in the wheel of the factory that is capitalism.
We still have a top-down structure in many work environments today, but some companies have begun to embrace a horizontal knowledge approach, where managers and employees are on the same level and treated as equals. The more we learn about what makes employees happy, hopefully, the more we will move towards those models, of which the Ikigai concept is a prime example.
While ikigai is generally applied to finding purpose in your personal life, this Process Street post will look at how the same 4 concepts can be applied to your business as well:
- Ikigai for business: The need for meaning & purpose at work
- Ikigai business concept #1: How are you helping the world?
- Ikigai business concept #2: What lights your fire?
- Ikigai business concept #3: What are you good at?
- Ikigai business concept #4: How can you generate profit?
- Look inwards for your purpose – even in business
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably. Let’s begin.