The times they are a’changing. But… they’ve always been a’changing. Change, after all, is the only constant in our lives. In part because of technological advances, it can seem that the rapidity with which change occurs is overwhelming. We are over-loaded, over-informed, over-committed and under-rested. Amid the madness created by this culture of chaos, and the confusion spawned by the nanosecond lifestyles, an oxymoronic need for constancy has arisen. That constancy can easily come in the form of “richuals,” ceremonies and celebrations that lend purpose to life and life to purpose, especially at work.
The suggestions here will, ideally, create constancy in terms of value–and not only around the traditional reasons for rituals: comings and goings, births and deaths, entries and exits of one sort or another. The richuals in this collection are designed to enrich the workplace and the many communities in which it resides. (The spelling is deliberately designed to suggest “enrichment” in conjunction with “rituals.”) Richuals are repeated actions that inspire anticipation; they are collective undertakings infused with fun, gratitude, and opportunities to do unto others. These activities can offset stress, isolation, and the disquieting feeling that we may not be “giving back” as much as we should or could.
Within the workplace, richuals help to define the culture, to reunite those divided by temporal, spatial, and cyberspace distances. Designed for people with too much to do and too little time in which to do it all, richuals are simple, easy to implement and user-friendly. They represent a convenient means of translating desire into action.
Whether you are interested in building teams, building partnerships, or building buildings for the homeless, richuals will help you forge the bonds that improve your spirits, improve your relationships, and even–in a small way–improve the community in which you live and work. You will find empowerment, stability, and esprit as you work with your corps on these undertakings. You will find joy in the ceremonies that celebrate our commonalities and cherish the differences that make us unique. That joy can be trusted.
With enriching rituals–rites that have been woven into the corporate fabric–we find missions more meaningful, goals more personalized, values more valuable and continuity more pride-inducing.
Richuals can be initiated by anyone, at any level of the organization. You may wish to make the rituals program official by publicizing a program of once-a-week richualing. You can take the micro approach–use the richuals at Monday staff meetings or as an energizer for dress-down Fridays. You may wish to set up a team like the Joy Club they have at Ben & Jerry’s, where “fun” and “work” are often synonymous terms. Or, you can take the macro approach–use the richuals department-wide or even organization-wide. Inform customers of your efforts and maybe even the local media. Involve as many people as possible, for a richual shared is a joy doubled.
We recommend you do one richual a week. If you follow the sequence to be presented in future articles, then the ritual becomes the doing of richuals. Or, you may prefer to select a richual at random and use it for a particular occasion, such as National Volunteers Week in January or Quality Month in October. You may even find one you like so well that you do the same richual every single week of the year. The “Small Change” idea (#1), for example, can easily become a richual unto itself 52 times a year.