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Getting in the way of Gratitude

'Getting in the Way of Gratitude' is a process for uncovering the fears and assumptions that stop us giving gratitude so we can change.

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Inspiring gratitude in the workplace may take more that the evidence base or ways to do this. For many people it may take looking at what is getting in the way of expressing gratitude in the workplace, and undercovering the fears and assumptions behind this. Getting in the Way of Gratitute is a process that can be used by individuals or teams, to find out what is getting in the way and what they could do about it. This would then free people to choose the processes, tools and ideas that would work best for them.

Idea Title

Getting in Way of Gratitude - what is stopping you and how to change this

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

There are hundreds of fabulous ideas to inspire gratitude, but people may not be able to use them if they have fears or assumptions related to this that they are not aware of. This process enables people to take an honest look at what is stopping them express gratitude, and explore how they can move past their assumptions. This idea can be used by individuals, within teams, or with peer support or small groups. It facilitates a different depth of thinking or conversation about gratitude, that enables people to uncover what is getting in the way. Behavioural change often needs more than an evidence base, or tools and techniques, and this process could help people make the change.

Who are you innovating for?

Senior leaders will be able to use this to change their practice around giving gratitude generously, and lead by example. Everyone in an organisation can use this, either as an individual reflection (taking 30 - 40 minutes) in pairs, in groups or teams. Using 'Getting in the Way of Gratitude' enables people to then fully use all of the other tools and processes suggested. It will enable people to have different conversations and change their behaviour and inspire expressions ofgratitude.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

I want to support change in health and social care, and that is my personal focus. but this process could be used in any organisation anywhere. I want to start by demonstrating it in my organisation, Wellbeing Teams, which provide care and support to people at home.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

I will start with my leadership team and share my example and support the rest of the team to do their own. Then we will create agreements together about what we are going to do as a result of this. We will implement this for 2 months in the hope that our teams will feel a difference from us, and experience gratitude. Then we will offer this to them in their team meetings, and see who wants to volunteer first of all, and test and learn through this process.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

My bravery in doing this. Having enough psychological safety in the team for us to do this together. We are overcoming this by doing work together around our purpose, and team agreements about how we work together.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

I have attached prototype one, and this is what we will be testing with my team. We will then review this after using it and go to prototype two and then continue to iterate. I do weekly films and blogs about what I am trying and learning and will use those to share and to gather feedback. I will do a blog series on appreciation at work and use this to share these ideas (see

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

I would research who the best partners could be in this area, taking advice from IDEO and then co-create the next steps to development with them. I would also talk to the originators of Immunity to Change maps, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey to ask for their advice based on their learning in implementing similar maps. I am part of a Deliberately Developmental Organisation group, and will explore options with them as well.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

I read an Everyone Culture by Kegan and Lahey and this introduced me to the concept of Deliberately Developmental Organisations and Immunity to Change maps (ItCM). I developed my own, and introduced them to my team, and found it very useful. I have adapted this idea to base it on gratitiude and to simplify it.

Tell us about yourself

I am the founder of Wellbeing Teams, and lead a team of five other people who are supporting the implementation of the teams, as well as leading teams in the field. I want to create new ways of working in health and care, where people bring their whole selves to work and we care for each others wellbeing. Appreciation and gratitude are central to this. We are at

Where are you / your team located?

Greater Manchester, UK

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

We are a limited company and social enterprise.

Company / Organization Name

We are developing a new model of care, to change how we support each other around health and care, in teams and communities.

Website and my personal website is

Tell us about your experience

I have founded five different organisations in the last twenty years, and I also worked for the Department of Health as their expert advisor in person-centred care. My passion is around health and care, and how we can humanise work, and focus on what matters to people, patients and colleagues.

Attachments (1)

Getting in the way of Gratitude.docx

This is the table used to record the process with an explanation of each heading, and then my own example of what was stopping me giving gratitude generously.


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