June 21, 2019
Becoming Truly Human
By: Ross Power

What is Truly Human and why do I care?

In January this year, I took over as ‘Truly Human Lead’ in the ACG (Analyst Consulting Group). Now you may be wondering, what does “Truly Human” mean, and what does a ‘Truly Human Lead’ do?

Within the Analyst Consulting Group (ACG), the community of graduates in Consulting, Strategy and Digital, there a number of opportunities to take on more leadership roles, influencing and inspiring others. The Truly Human Lead focuses on encouraging inclusion and diversity, promoting events and trainings, and sharing personal ideas – which is shown right here with this new blog series.

Being Truly Human is about becoming the best version of yourself, whatever this entails. Although these attributes were part of Accenture before the Truly Human initiative, the framework that this has provided has opened the conversation more broadly, encompassing and integrating a diverse range of areas which help support the goal of ‘making Accenture the most truly human organisation in the digital world’. At the core is the idea that in helping support our people to become their best, Accenture too is at its best.

This blog post, and the following series I’m calling ‘Becoming Truly Human’, will explore what I believe it means to be Truly Human, through delving into the four key pillars and giving some of my personal views and experiences.

Why does Accenture care about being Truly Human?

The world has been going through dramatic shifts in recent years, moving incredibly quickly in a vast array of directions and the workplace has joined this movement. The workforce has seen the arrival of an increasingly socially conscious generation, passionate about sustainability and their personal health (both mental and physical health) and, committed to working with greater meaning or purpose. Companies have evolved to not only support this, but to help the movement and ensure the people they serve thrive; becoming the best versions of themselves: ‘truly human’.

What does it mean to me?

Over the past few years I have become increasingly interested in health and well-being, both the physical aspects in terms of nutrition and fitness, as well as mental health. Having several people close to me pass away in a short number of years, as well as traumatic experiences in some of the lives around me, I began to think more deeply about what it means to be healthy, both physically and mentally. Shortly after my cousin Vicky suddenly passed away, my family set up a charity to support women with cancer. Victoria’s Promise has grown quickly with the goal to support women through cancer, both in the physical sense, looking at nutrition and new forms of treatment, as well as through the mental trauma that so often comes with a cancer diagnosis. The charity’s network of women and their families going through similar experiences provides support in ways that often get forgotten, such as beauty therapy and emotional support, and helps provide dignity in some of the most difficult times. This charity, alongside my own passion for lifelong learning, has given me the drive and interest to explore a vast array of areas that fit well into the pillars of Truly Human.

When I joined Accenture, I was already interested in physical health and was becoming more curious about mental health, beginning to explore areas such as mindfulness and looking to my nutrition and fitness in more ways than just the physical benefits. Over the last year, I experimented with a number of health ‘fads’ (as my housemates call them) and incorporated them into my life. I have also worked hard to try to understand what I am really passionate about and how to find a way to bring these passions with me into Accenture and my day to day life in the projects I work on and ‘side of desk’ tasks I support with.

The 4 Pillars of Truly Human and what they mean to me

Through exploring the most important aspects that help people thrive professionally and personally, four key pillars were created to capture what it means to be Truly Human and to achieve the greatest version of ourselves.

When discussing the body, we are looking at elements associated with physical health; our diet, exercise and sleep to name a few. During times of change, it is often difficult to keep consistent with original health and fitness habits (my first 6 weeks at Accenture involved sofa-hopping with little time to exercise). Some of the ways I’ve had the chance to engage in good body habits since settling into my new ‘normal’ at Accenture include playing tennis at Lee Valley sports park and setting up a 5-aside football team on one of my projects with both clients and colleagues.

Within the ‘mind’ pillar, we look to the methods and benefits of being mentally focused, thinking about our productivity and leveraging the ways we work best, whether this means managing work around our body and routine or setting clear priorities and goals. I have benefited from practices such as mindfulness, an area being heavily encouraged within Accenture, and ‘hyper-focus’, an area I have been exploring which puts to bed the idea that multitasking is always the best way to work; something I look forward to sharing with you in a future blog post.

Accenture has earned a number of awards in recent years for our emphasis and success in inclusion, diversity and sense of belonging; Ranking No. 1 on Thomson Reuters Index of World’s Most Diverse and Inclusive Companies. Nothing says this better than our ‘Inclusion Starts With I’ video below, created with employees who shared their own experiences in the workplace. We are also well on our way to meeting our goal of reaching 50 percent women in the workforce by 2050, a feat which I see the huge value in, given the incredible role models I have in my sister, mum and many other women in my life. Creating an inclusive workforce where everyone can belong is essential for the company and people we serve, a key feature of truly human.

Lastly, and certainly by no means least, is soul. To me, soul is an outcome of all of the previous three pillars. Soul is our focus on living with a sense of meaning; a purpose. Having purpose is a true luxury which we should all strive towards, and for those lucky enough to feel they have found purpose, not to take for granted. Studies have shown that when we have found our purpose, our recovery rate from disease, pain and illness improves dramatically and our ability to support others’ goals increases. Helping others find purpose as well as demystifying the word itself is an area I am passionate about and will be sharing my thoughts through this series.

I’m proud to be at a company which places so much significance on these themes, and as the workplace evolves, I strongly believe in the power and potential of keeping Truly Human at the heart of organisations, both for the company and for the people the company serves.

In the coming weeks and months, I’m looking forward to writing about some of my interests and experiences in these areas and engaging with those that want to contact me.

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