Ho’ohana is a word with power in Hawaiian. It’s the value of worthwhile work, done with intent. With purpose. With passion. It’s not about the job we do or the position we hold. It’s the attitude of intention and full presence in whatever we do.
Ho’ohana is also more than an individual mindset. It can be scaled — and when we harness it, transformative things happen. I really believe that, but don’t just take my word for it. Believe immersive VR/AR storyteller and Adobe artist-in-residence Estella Tse. Believe WebOS inventor and consumer design guru Andy Grignon, now re-thinking all aspects of money at JP Morgan Chase. Believe QA whisperer Elaine Rabonza who’s been making software perfect for 20 years. Believe Moleskin’s Gabriel Walsh, who’s bridging the analog and digital. Believe Dan McInerny, the genius behind OluKai. These are but a few leaders. There are more.
What ties all of us together is our shared belief in ho’ohana and the power of digital transformation to change not just how work gets done, but who does it — and even what work looks like. Last week, 40 incredible inventors, leaders and rebel minds convened in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Their focus was to explore the possibilities of ho-ohana transformation at scale. Our mission is to drive the workplace of the future in an entirely different way than how it’s been done before. It’s about making human dynamics and technology advances versus focusing on what hinders the way we communicate. Our aim is also to show how many-to-many collaborative interactions can benefit performance in completely new ways so that others can benefit as well.
Mauna Kea also has special meaning for me. It’s one of the only places in the world where you can drive from sea level to 14,000 feet in two hours. At its center is a dormant volcano, the majority of which is underwater; when measured from its base, it’s the tallest mountain in the world. The peak of Mauna Kea is sacred to native Hawaiians and essential for astronomers, making it the perfect setting for the summit. So much of what we are exploring lies underneath the surface, yet when we get to the top, we’ll see stars.
Here’s what I mean by the depths of that bottom and the heights of that peak. First the bottom. While half of the entire U.S. workforce today works remotely in some form at least once a month, the same technology that has made communication and collaboration possible beyond borders is also the greatest source of pain. One in five remote workers says that communication and collaboration are their number one barriers to feeling fully productive and included. Most say they feel lonely. Fragmented, siloed technology only contributes to the problem, and it’s not getting better.
Yet, here’s where the peak comes in: a growing number of companies have solved this challenge. One reason for this comes as a shameless plug–these organizations are using Bluescape which is designed specifically for transforming communication and collaboration. At the same time, a growing number of professionals are championing a change in the way organizations think about work, collaboration, and inviting others in at scale.
They’re not alone.
Imagine what could be possible if the world’s greatest minds could collaborate to solve the biggest problems. Build beautiful things. Create, challenge, drive together. That’s what this week’s summit is all about, and it’s why I wake up and go to work every day.
‘A’ohe pu’u ki’eki’e ke ho’a’o ‘ia e pi’i, says the Hawaiian proverb. No cliff is so tall that it can’t be climbed. Ho’ohana will take us there.
By Isabelle Azadmanesh, Bluescape