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Gratitude fridays in Colombia

In Coschool, Colombia we have developed a gratitude practice: "Viernes de Gratitud". Every Friday we stop and say thanks for 15 minutes.

Photo of Henry May
15 11

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Idea Title

#fridaygratitude

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

Gratitude Fridays gives a fixed space for gratitude every week. Every Friday in Coschool we take 15-20 minutes to stop and say thanks to those around us in the team or beyond. Typically this is done by writing emails, making phone calls, or sending SMS messages, in which we explain Viernes de gratitud to the recipient and explain why we are thanking them specifically. We used to do this as a self-managed task, and several team members continue to do it themselves, but we have recently pivoted the idea and now have a 15 minute ritual in the office every Friday. We stand in a circle, clap once, bow, one person asks one question to get to know everyone better, and we have a space for gratitude.

Who are you innovating for?

Organizations and their partners - although an internal practice, we often express gratitude to clients, partners, board members, friends, and family. Schools; we see schools as the next step (given we work with 100 different schools here to develop character skills) as we would love young people to develop a better understanding of gratitude and gratitude practices.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

Small organizations - max 250 employees & schools: we would love to roll our Gratitude Fridays in schools to encourage schools to practice more gratitude

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

1. One member of the leadership team should be given a very simple one page toolkit and the link to an article about our tradition in Coschool: https://unreasonable.is/built-gratitude-startup-culture/ 2. Teachers in a school would receive a 30 minute training session on how to run Gratitude Fridays.

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

Consistency - the practice should take place every Friday. Resentment - gratitude for "the sake of it". To counter this, our Friday practice is 100% voluntary - if we do our activity, people should attend but do not need to speak.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

We are already testing it

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

We would like to work alongside Character Lab - to figure out how we could develop gratitude Fridays into schools in Colombia and beyond. We would run a sponsored campaign on Instagram and Facebook with a view to educating our audiences and aiming for #viernesdegratitud to go viral and for the practice to be picked up on by Colombian press.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.
  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

From a conversation with Tom Chi at Unreasonable Institute: https://unreasonable.is/built-gratitude-startup-culture/

Tell us about yourself

Henry May, 31, is from the UK. He is based in Colombia where he is cofounder and CEO of coschool. He has been in Colombia since 2012 and set up coschool in late 2013 following his experiences as a high school teacher (Teach First) and teacher trainer in the UK and Colombia. He is also the founder of NGO The Huracan Foundation, a global initiative that supports teachers to use football projects to

Where are you / your team located?

Bogotá, Colombia

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

We are a SAS in Colombia and a registered B Corp.

Company / Organization Name

Coschool

Website

coschool.co

Tell us about your experience

I set up Coschool in Colombia following my experiences as a teacher and teacher trainer. Coschool develops social & emotional skills in young people. We have designed three types of programs: Colead, Cotrain, Campco in order to do this.

15 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Laris Thongsiri
Team

Hi Henry May ,

I think your idea is great, and would be particularly valuable aimed at schools, as you suggest. I think it is important for younger generations to learn of the value of gratitude. Positive psychology is a relatively new concept and a shift away from traditional psychology. Although there have been numerous studies and research conducted on the benefits of positive psychology, there has been little done to promote it - especially in society's youth.

Gratitude Fridays would be a great practical way to expose people to positive psychology. As you had suggested, I think that Gratitude Fridays would work better in smaller organisations. Perhaps it can work in larger organisations - but in smaller groups, such as different teams and departments in the overall organisation.

I like your suggestion - with the view to encourage everyone to at least attend, but making participation voluntary. Hopefully the positive effects of gratitude can be experienced through exposure over time.

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Laris Thongsiri ,

Thanks for jumping in here and providing your thorughtful reflections! Excited to follow this conversation and see your continued feedback throughout the Challenge!

Photo of Henry May
Team

Thanks a lot Laris. The idea is to make it something simple and intentional - and every time we do it we have the chance to explain people the story and rationale behind it. Thanks for your comment.

Photo of Entrepreneurship Institute
Team

Henry May love this idea. At Entrepreneurship Institute, King's College London, we're increasingly trying to promote team culture and customer centricity to our entrepreneurs. Your use of gratitude at the heart of CoSchool is a really powerful means of achieving this. We are learning from your approach!

Photo of Henry May
Team

Thanks, why don't you guys try it out with your teams and see if any of them adapt it or use it?

Photo of Răzvan Geangu
Team

Congratulations! The idea is truly amazing and it definitely makes an impact on the organisations.

Photo of Henry May
Team

Hi Raven - yes, the idea is that other organizations can adpot the practice as well :)

Photo of Mark Corbett
Team

Looks fantastic! Can be very hard to find the time or motivation to feel gratitude, but is well worth it. Sounds like a great business!

Photo of Henry May
Team

Cheers Mark, appreciate that

Photo of Immanual
Team

Love the idea. Hope people invest the time. Best wishes to you!

Photo of Henry May
Team

Thanks a lot!

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Henry May ,

I wanted to remind you we are hosting a Webinar and Q&A for this Challenge with University of Washington positive organizational leadership expert, Ryan Fehr Fri, Oct 13 @ 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. He’ll be discussing recommendations for designing Ideas for this topic. This is a great resource as you continue developing your concept. You can register for the webinar here https://goo.gl/forms/owhdGkljXkvmW7mi2 Hope to see you there!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Henry May ,

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Henry May
Team

Thanks very much!

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Henry May ,

Great to see you in the Challenge! I'm really intrigued by your Idea of Gratitude Fridays, and rolling them out in school settings. Have you done any experiments with some of the schools you work with to prototype this Idea?

At Coschool, how do you think this addition of Gratitude Fridays has changed the internal culture? What have you noticed?

I'm tagging in Gillean Opoku who wrote about Gratitude Fridays for the Research Phase of this Challenge. Gillean- would love your feedback, insights, or provocations about this post!


Looking forward to learning more!