Including Human Dignity in Organizational Design
A Moment with Deacon Larry Hiner
Question: There's a significance behind the title
Deacon Larry, when did you become a deacon?
Deacon Larry: Four years ago I was ordained by Bishop Soto here in the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Sacramento. Deacons usually have some life before being ordained. I'm married, have four children, seven grandchildren and counting. I worked for IBM, earned a doctorate in organizational psychology, so I've lived a normal life. When I was ordained as a deacon, one of the things that I tried to have integrated into my work life was the perspective of human dignity. People deserve to be respected. From a religious standpoint I could say they deserve respect because we are all children of God, but even from a humanistic standpoint we can say that we're all here on this earth together- we're brothers and sisters as human beings. We're all worthy of having our work and ourselves respected and have dignity. We find
that there's a lot of issues that come up in the workplace that are present because people aren't recognizing that principle. So, what we do is we work with organizations to try to help them with different levels, management, leadership, team level, not only to dignify work but that become part of the culture in the organization so that people are honored, respected, they feel that they're doing meaningful work and they feel like they're continuing to learn throughout their jobs and their lifetimes and that contributes eventually to the organization as well.
Question: At what stage should a company come and work with you?
Deacon Larry: At the Impact 2018 Summit [where we are now], we've got a lot of startups. These companies have between two- five people in their organization. They're looking to get their product out into the market and have tested. If they're trying to get funding for it, they need to show that it's a successful and needed product. The next step that they're going to take is to grow. When they get into manufacturing or rolling out a service or product, they're going to acquire other people. Even at that stage, we help them think about what, is it that you want your organization to look like as you expand to ten twenty fifty a hundred people two hundred people. What is it that you want it to look like? How do you want your employees to be engaged in your company? How do you get them to stay and not just come in and work for six months and move down the street just because it's a more exciting opportunity where they have the opportunity to learn something else? Well build that into your organization, we can do that. We help assess communications and work styles so that people are able to communicate to each other better and convey that sense of culture. Not every company has to be a huggy-feely- kumbaya type of organization, you can choose the kind of organization that you want to have. You can also choose the type of culture that you want to have and you want to make it positive.
Question: What's unique about how you do organizational design is that you bring what I call spirituality, the focus on human attributes and values into. What inspired you to go this direction?
Deacon Larry: For me personally, I was trying to integrate and be one person. Not just being a deacon in the parish and then just Dr. Larry in the secular work world. Not everyone is informed by their spirituality or their religion and that's okay. I am and that's what inspires me. Other people are inspired by productivity in the workplace, human decency, a sense of doing what's right or a sense of social norms and propriety. Whatever the motivation is, eventually it's going to lead to good results in the company. If you establish a good learning organization, then you'll grow into a successful company and will have results as a mantra. So, for me, in bringing my spirituality to it, if people want to talk about that I'm happy to, but about a decade ago or so when people would talk about emotional intelligence, people thought 'oh that's that whoo-whoo stuff' and we talked about mindfulness and those kinds of things, people thought that was out on the edge, now it is mainstream. We find mindful programs for leaders and for managers and for employees, people practicing mindfulness, people practicing emotional intelligence, learning about it and practicing it in the workplace to make the workplace a better place to work. So that was fringe then, now even talking about a certain spirituality actually is edgy because it's as if one is coming in as if I'm coming in and saying, well you need to be of this religious pursuit and persuasion. I'm not saying that at all, what we're talking about as
spirituality is the sense of something beyond ourselves that is at work in our human life.
Question: How does an entrepreneur or person wants to engage your services contact you?
Deacon Larry: Our company name is Workforce Equanimity, workforceeq.com and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also be reached on my mobile, text or phone me at: 916.790.0737