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Why Do We Need to Build Regenerative Businesses?

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

We are in the midst of disruptive changes to the way we live and work. The structures that we have built may have been necessary at one time but the reasons for them are fast falling away.

Now that the internet has taken a firm hold globally, we are all connected in a way we probably never imagined we could or would be. Technologies are advancing in a way that hopes to replace mundane work with AI and robotics leaving people nervous and wondering what they will do with their time. Blockchain is emerging as a way for us to connect directly leaving out the many institutions that have historically been the middlemen.

We are coming to the end of a long cycle that began in the industrial age where everyone had to sacrifice themselves for the good of the tribe just to survive. We’ve slowly built health care, education, government, and financial structures to help us all feel secure, yet many of us still do not experience that security. Anxiety, depression, and suicide have risen over time and thankfully, we are now recognizing the need to bring mental health issues out of the closet for everyone’s benefit.

Time of the Individual

We are entering into a time when the ‘individual’ and their needs are becoming paramount and we are already seeing the multitude of ways that this is showing up in the world. Many people are flocking to social media platforms to simply ‘do what they love’. These platforms allow us to share with the collective and be financially rewarded for just being ourselves. This will continue to evolve as each of us individually reflect on what we want out of life making it more difficult for organizations to attract and retain talent.

The COVID pandemic has given us a very real experience of having time to reconsider how we are living our lives. When we’ve had to choose who to include in our ‘bubble’ and who we’re separated from, and find creative ways to stay connected, we’ve had the opportunity to determine who and what we want in our lives and who and what we can let go of. The ability to maintain a ‘safe distance’ of six ft (roughly the circumference of our energy field), has given us time to set our boundaries for self-preservation. This practical experience has changed us making us much more aware of our personal space.

Burnout is Real and Costly

As the pandemic unfolded, I was already in a space of determining my boundaries, setting my personal space, and learning how best to take care of myself. Two years before the pandemic, I left my career of 25 years in technology due to a workplace disruption that led to a personal health crisis. I experienced burnout that led to insomnia, anxiety, and depression including suicidal thoughts. My brain crashed and I couldn’t make sense of or focus on anything. I was emotionally out of balance too, crying much of the time for the first two years.

You don’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden ‘have burnout.’ Its nature is much more insidious, creeping up on us over time like a slow leak, which makes it much harder to recognize,” Sherrie Bourg Carter, psychologist, and author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout.

During this time, I was introduced to Human Design and BG5 and I began to learn about who I really am and why I was so impacted by what had happened at work. You can read my full case study on the BG5 Business Institute site.

As I worked across multiple departments in the large organization I was in, I was aware of others who were also suffering from burnout and trying very hard to pretend they were okay. Many I knew went off on medical leave either with major health issues or what we often refer to as ‘stress’ leave. I know when I went off on leave, I felt guilty every day comparing what I had to those who had more serious health issues like cancer or heart disease.

Yet, I couldn’t focus, concentrate or stop crying, I couldn’t sleep, and being around anyone other than my immediate family was impossible. Interacting with any technology led to panic attacks. I realized only after I recovered just how much I had ignored all the signs that led to burnout thinking I was strong enough to carry on.

The World Health Organization has now classified ‘Burnout’ as an Occupational Phenomenon.

The WHO characterizes the symptoms with three main dimensions, including:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

  • increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job

  • reduced professional efficacy

Dr. Shimi Kang, Vancouver based psychiatrist says,

We can fix a bone, we can do surgery, we can get antibiotics. But our biggest battle in health care is getting people to live a healthy balanced lifestyle,”

The more that we can live a human life… We see better bottom lines at the workplace,” she said. “We see better workplace culture, less absenteeism, less presenteeism*. So, I hope the workplace does take this seriously.”

*Presenteeism is the practice of working while sick.

“Burned-out employees are 63 percent more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job,” the poll stated.

Degenerative Work Places

Our workplaces have become ‘degenerative’ leading to burnout. While we all may have hoped that technology would lead us to more efficiency so that we could relax and rest more, or only do the fun, creative work, it has instead led us to try too hard to do too much because we can. Not only can we, but we’ve set ourselves up to ‘have to’ do more to keep up with the rest of the world.

With the pandemic, we’ve adjusted the way we work and there are mixed reviews about how we may move forward once we can resume regular activities. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index suggests we’ll need to consider a Hybrid work environment but also offers insights into how the trend of burnout is progressing.

The Trends

1. Flexible work is here to stay

2. Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call

3. High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce

4. Gen Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized

5. Shrinking networks are endangering innovation

6. Authenticity will spur productivity and well being

7. Talent is everywhere in a hybrid world

Self-assessed productivity has remained the same or higher for many employees over the past year, but at a human cost.

One in five global survey respondents says their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance.

  • 54% feel overworked

  • 39% feel exhausted

And trillions of productivity signals from Microsoft 365 quantify the precise digital exhaustion workers are feeling.

Digital overload is real and climbing

62% of calls, contacts, and meetings are impromptu, unplanned

50% of people respond to Team chats within 5min or less

This proves the intensity of our workday, and that what is expected of employees during this time, has increased significantly.

BG5 Emerging at the right time

There is a better way! It’s time to re-evaluate what we are doing in our organizations and how we are creating so much work for employees who are afraid to say or unaware they can say ‘enough!!’ Or who has become slowly conditioned to what is expected of them, they don’t even realize they’ve lost the ability to relax and work at their own natural pace.

Most people are completely unaware of how their energy can be best spent. All BG5 Career types are at risk of burnout simply by not being aware of how their energy is best utilized.

Consistent Energy Type

  • 70% Builders – have constant energy that needs to be guided

Inconsistent Energy Types

  • 20% Advisors – are here to guide the energy of the Builders

  • 9% Initiators – are here to bring forward new systems, products, services

  • 1% Evaluators – very rare types - are here to let us know how we’re doing

If any of the types are not following their energy strategy, they are at great risk of burnout.

BG5 gives you insight into who you are and how to best utilize your energy in a way that ‘regenerates’ you. When you know how this works, you leave work feeling light, energized, ready to take a rest, relax and play with your friends and loved ones, enjoying your hobbies and interests.

BG5 Career Design Analysis can help people:

  • Understand your innate decision-making process (and it’s not your brain) to set healthy boundaries knowing when to say ‘no’

  • Know if you are susceptible to ‘over-committing’ your energy

  • Know how to manage your energy to get the most restorative sleep

  • Know if you are pressuring yourself or those around you to work harder than necessary

  • Pay attention to your survival instincts which bring valuable information to your health

  • Understand your emotions and how they provide valuable information for your well-being

  • Recognize signs that tell you when you’re off-track with what’s best for your well-being

This offers a work/life balance for individuals that makes the organization more productive. It allows the business to attract and retain employees into appropriate roles that add the most value to the organization simply by allowing people to be themselves.

See for yourself how you can live a balanced life "doing what you love, and loving what you do" and getting paid to just "be yourself".


Shelley-4 small.jpeg

I'm Shelley

I am inspired by all the ways BG5 can help us know and trust ourselves to show up at work and in life with confidence allowing us to 'do what we love and love what we do'!

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