Podcast #12 Kenny Temowo on Self-Actualisation at Work

Kenny Temowo is someone who inspires us to find self-actualisation at work. He  is a Learning and Experience Design Consultant at PA Consulting. He takes this ground-breaking employee engagement tool to  global corporates. It helps instil lasting behavioural change. 



The messages for us from as returners going back to work from the interview are: how to be navigate being a newbie at work all over again, why we go out to work each day, and the possibility of achieving self-actualisation at work. We need to remain teachable, in order to avoid a “Monday to Friday sort of dying”.(Studs Terkel).





Kenny is inspirational in his search for self-actualisation at work. He began life studying music and theology and had always been creative and thought quite deeply. Philosophy was “his thing” but he didn’t know back then! 




Key Moments from the Podcast: "Self-Actualisation at Work"



(3.24) Kenny then taught for nine years, earned his stripes, then one day wept in the car because he felt very exposed, “not seen as a human being”.He describes the pressure of being in the teaching environment.



(3.36) It’s ok to not know what you’re doing. But in teaching..you are always performing.



(4.43) Teaching shaped him and who he is today. Love of people, love of facilitating. One day however, he left the class, the ground moved beneath his feet, he realized that there is something more than the “tyranny of the timetable”.   



(6.15) Went on a journey to find out what he really wanted. It’s a journey that he is still on. He left teaching with nothing lined up and he has done this a few times; left a role with nothing to go to. 



(6.45) Did fear feature? Often our decisions are motivated by moving away from pain. The reality of staying in the situation was far worse than the unknown. Not sure if it was a courage thing. 



(7.32) How did you move toward your current role?  Kenny did a lot of self-work and came across motivational maps, developed by James Sale. 



“I’m not the first person to leave an established profession with the safe option of 30 days holiday”. “Having a coach was awesome at this time”. Kenny got certified and did hours of motivational mapping and coaching. 



(9.00) Differences between Strengths Finder vs Motivational Maps.



(9.30) “Know thyself” understanding your strengths. We all have three overarching energies (relationships, self-actualisation, achievements).  



(10.00) A lot of Kenny’s drivers were around looking for meaning, looking for creativity. Maps gave  him a language to know about what he wanted and He could chart a path. He landed a job as Head of Learning and Development at a charity. At some point along this journey, Kenny found some some inspiration from books and things people say. These become a “lamp for your path.”  He met another philosopher. 



(10.47) Kenny connected a thought leader on social media in Learning and got a job at PA Consulting. 



(11.29) Experience Design is effectively how about how do we interact with people.  What if there was an experience that would change people forever? Businesses want to see that change in their people.  



(12.17) Their work is about emotions and caring about what people care about. e.g. If you want people to care about data protection  or recycling you have to tap into the emotional reaction. 



(14.06) People love stories, that is what they remember. 



(14.34) The other side of experience learning is thinking about career: how do we make more peak moments in career? We love being a collective and being part of a thing. E.g. royal wedding and RAF Centenary here in London. 



(15.17) He is motivated by a Studs Terkel quote: ”Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.”  



(15.33) At the moment it (experience design) is an art, there is no science to it. You can have an experience that completely redefines who you are. We transact our lives in routine.



(15.57) I would see teachers in the staff room and think “I cannot be in (the same place) in thirty years’ time”.



(16.32) Why do we go out to work and make all the sacrifices? 
1) Flow – (see Steve kottler –author of  The Rise of Superman)
2) We are looking for that sense of meaning, transcendence, something that is bigger than you. 



(17.17) We come to work; people are looking for that release of energy. We all want to make sense of our lives.



(17.38) If you are in an organisation where your flow is disrupted, your energy is disrupted, you can’t produce. 



(18.18) My break – I could really afford to work out what was important to me. I knew the things I had to compromise on.



(18.42) Mark Twain – "There are two important days,  the day you were born and the day you found out why?"



(19.28)  Sometimes it might be easier not to think so much but now I am 
so invested in answering the questions! 

(19.57) In my quest to find more meaning at work I use the evenings to feed my soul.



(20.26) As we hold the questions the answers come (to what brings meaning in a job) none of my interviewees have had a logical progression in careers now. 

(20.16) Observations of the workplace in 2018 beyond. 



(21. 43) You may have to start afresh and be the new kid on the block, you need to be a life long learner and remain teachable, this avoids anxiety. 



(24.00) Importance of being disarming with your humility. People like the fact that you are vulnerable. 



(24.25) That helped me to realise that it is not about you making a mistake it’s acknowledging it.

(25.3) What would happen if you lost your job? Maybe I could take a career break! I would want to spend time with my children. 



Motivational maps (James Sales) Official website



Kenny is a licensed practicioner and has kindly offered a free assessment once you have completed the motivational map. You reach out to him on Twitter or Linkedin, he will assess the first 5. It just takes 20 minutes or so for you to complete the assessment. They send out code to you for you to complete your individual assessment.

Kenny recommends the following books:










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