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Author's profile photo Jennifer Coleman

Run with Purpose: When the light bulb turns on!

/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/274731_l_srgb_s_gl_386583.jpgHave you ever stopped and recognized those moments – those exact moments in life – when the light bulb all of a sudden turns on to full wattage and is burning so bright and intensely that you can’t imagine how you were getting by without it just seconds before?  Well, these are the moments I live for – whether the bulb is burning bright in me or in others.  Those ‘light bulb’ moment or ‘ah-ha’ moments are times where, I believe, that we reach this perfect alignment where our knowledge and thoughts intersect with a passion or interest – some we may not have recognized within ourselves before the light bulb turned on.

These light bulb moments are not always easy to come by – especially at work.  They can come in a workshop where we are hammering out challenging yet creative solutions with our colleagues.  Other times they come at our desks when we are so focused on a daunting presentation and we have finally had a brilliant vision as to how to present this amazing idea that has been cooped up in our little creative minds.  Either way, when we tap into these moments the effect it has on us is like making a pin hole in a water balloon – there is no stopping what will come next!  As a workshop facilitator and Design Thinking coach I live for these moments when I’m in a room with my colleagues.  If I can find that perfect question that gets them to tap into the ‘light bulb’ or find an activity that gives them the space and tools to get the light bulb to turn on, then I know I’ve done my job.  A few months ago I coached a two day Design Thinking session with a group I had never worked with before.  I knew very little about the problem they were trying to create a solution for and had never met team.  However, after two intense days I walked out of that room so energized because I enabled a team turning on so many light bulbs, we could have lit up a stadium!

My passion for ah-ha moments extends to my personal life too.  I am the mother to two young children and I get to see the look on their faces everyday as they discover something new and interesting.  Some of the times when their light bulbs turn on are when they are doing what we might see as the ‘simplest of things’.  Whether it‘s my 2 year old boy figuring out how to kick a ball into the soccer net, or my 4 year old daughter doing a pirouette just like in the Nutcracker ballet. I can see that a-ha spark in their eyes.  That second where it all finally makes sense and they GET it.  They are a reminder that we all learn at a different pace, whether we are 4 or 34, and this helps me do a better job every day.  Picture1.jpg

For some of us, ‘light bulb’ moments comes when we’ve taken a break from a challenge so we can see it from a fresh perspective.  Others have ah-ha moments when we are so “deep in the weeds” that the light bulb allows us the clarity to make sense out of the confusion.  So, as you go through your daily routines and are “just getting your work done” – ask yourself – in what areas of your life / work are you having a hard time changing that burnt out light bulb?  What do you need to do to change it and get the bulb to turn on again and burn bright?  Whatever the answer is, don’t settle for working in a dimly lit space… do what you can to find those ah-ha moments and work with all bulbs burning.  I guarantee this will be the place where you will feel the most energized, fulfilled and committed – I know I do!

Who am I?

My name is Jennifer Coleman and I started at SAP (then BusinessObjects) in Vancouver almost 7 years ago.  I was recruited by a former boss (networking will always keep you employed!) and was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the IT group.  I was asked to help form, shape and support their change management practice – no small task for a group of binary thinkers.  Within about a year the integration with SAP began and my career as a change management specialist within IT was in full force.  Times have changed and I currently work in the Strategy & Planning team for the Scale, Quality and Support board area where my primary focus is Strategy Engagement.

Blog it Forward:

If you would like to join in on our conversation, please post a blog with “Blog It Forward Challenge” in your blog title and add the tags “run_with_purpose” and “blog_it_forward” to your post. Please respond back to one of the following questions:

1.    My purpose in my work is definitely not ___. I tried ___ out and after this experience I realized it really wasn’t for me, but ___ is. (Give an example of something you tried that may not have worked out, or has helped redirect you to work that has been more enjoyable and rewarding for you.)

2.    What inspires you the most about your work right now?

3.    How do your passions contribute to your work here at SAP?

4.    How does having purpose/passions in your work at SAP allowed for success or advancement?

5.    How do you think your work create a positive impact for other people or the world?

6.    What does it mean to run with purpose and how does it relate to the work you do at SAP?


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