2014 is all about celebrating what makes us human!


Wordle: What makes us human

I’ve had a bit of a blogging block over recent weeks so as I wrote my ‘to do’ list today, I put a blog post on there as I am definitely one of those people who gets a lot of satisfaction from ticking things off my list!

To try and inspire myself, I googled ‘inspiring quotes to start 2014’ and never letting me down, there were LOTS out there! We all tend to get a bit philosophical as we come to the end of the year and see the New Year as a way to start afresh, to change things we’re not happy with and to be the positive people we know we (mostly!) are!!!

A quote for 2014

The following quote really got me thinking about a fascinating show that Jeremy Vine has been hosting on Radio 2 over the last few months about ‘what makes us human?’

 “To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds

What makes us human?

Jeremy basically asked a selection of artists, thinkers and academics to consider what makes us human and they all came up with their own stories. I just wanted to share some of this with you today…

  • Esther Rantzen believes altruism and caring for people we don’t know is what makes us human.
  • General Richard Dannatt, Britain’s leading soldier, believes our humanity is in our selfless commitment to others.
  • Columnist and former Conservative MP Matthew Parris reflects on his life and why ‘playfulness’ makes us human.
  • To love, to be loved, to be accepted and respected: Disabled artist and campaigner Alison Lapper thinks these qualities make us ‘human’.
  • Robert Peston – the BBC’s Business Editor – talks about his late wife Sian Busby and how his love for her is what makes him human
  • Eminent philosopher, writer and huntsman, Roger Scruton believes asking questions is what make us human.
  • Leading economist Lord Robert Skidelsky says it’s the opposite of economics that makes us human: following our hearts and intuitions, rather than our heads.
  • Former Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson talks about why she thinks ‘self-awareness’ is part of our humanity.
  • Brian May – rock star, astrophysicist and animal rights campaigner discusses how kindness and cruelty is the key to what makes us human.
  • Libertarian commentator Brendan O’Neill believes that humanity is all about change.

The challenge companies have…

If I think about the articles I’ve read across all forms of media recently, companies all over the world are attempting to address all these things and more that make us human. It’s not an easy job…although we are all human! We are all unique individuals with our own values and our own interpretations of the world. We all have a unique set of circumstances, a unique set of experiences and our own unique way of dealing with them. I know my lovely husband constantly battles with my unique way of thinking!!!!

What we can all do though is celebrate all the things that make us uniquely human and focus on the positive things and the great work that people bring to our companies every day. Every positive has a negative and every negative has a positive. If we try in 2014 to tip the balance so that the majority of conversations we have in 2014 are positive then surely all the great things that make us human will triumph: commitment, self-awareness, to be accepted, to be respected, to create emotional connections, kindness, playfulness, giving something back, the ability to handle change and build trust!

Appreciation changes everything!

Every blog I write talks about the difference appreciation can make and that’s genuinely because I believe it to be true based on not just my beliefs but for most people I come into contact with. Recognition done right in a timely, genuine and sincere way helps us tip that balance towards the positive – how can that be a bad thing! Our founder Obert Tanner once said: “One could say we sell two values: the value of beauty and the value of kindness. The kindness is a company’s willingness to recognize, with dignity, an individual for what he or she has given to that company. After all, giving the productive years of one’s life, the daylight hours of each working day – this is the ultimate that an individual may give to any company.”

May 2014 be the year for us to celebrate and recognize everything that makes us uniquely human!

Wishing you all a very happy 2014!

Here’s a link to the Radio 2 website where you can listen to the ‘What Makes Us Human’ series!

Building a culture of recognition is for life…not just for Christmas! A festive tale with a case study!



How could I not exploit the festive season to talk about appreciation! I don’t know about you but I get this warm, tingly feeling in my tummy at this time of the year and embrace December and all the best things it brings out in our lives….family, friends, community, thinking about the absolute right present to put a smile on the faces of loved ones, celebrations and parties. It got me thinking (always dangerous…)

When reading one of our case studies recently about a global recognition programme for Informatica, these are some of the words I pulled out:


A recognition programme done right enables you to create these festive feelings on a daily basis not just at Christmas. It takes time, it takes effort and an on-going strategy to ensure it has longevity and impact.  How great would it be to create that tingly feeling in your tummy because you’ve reached a career milestone and your company has cared enough to recognize the individual contribution you have made, to shout out about a time when you’ve gone above and beyond individually or as a team or simply because one of your peers noticed the on-going effort you’ve been contributing to live the companies values!

So I leave you with two parting messages:

Tis the season to reward and recognize!


Building a culture of recognition is for life not just for Christmas!