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ACT 2021 Featured Capstone:

Leading with Compassion in Big Tech

Kerri Jacobs

California, USA



Who did your Capstone Project serve ?
My project served leaders (from first-line people managers to VPs) working in a "big tech" corporate environment and their reports.

What was the suffering that your project addressed?
The suffering I addressed occurs in even the most forward-thinking corporate spaces in the form of burnout, very high stress levels, staff attrition (especially among under-represented groups), low inclusion sentiment and low well-being sentiment.

How did this project address that suffering?
The project collected then shared survey data from 500 employees, bringing to life what behaviors from leaders amplify suffering, and then what tactical efforts can be made to reduce it.

Who was your audience and how many people participated? 
My audience included 500 individual contributors. Employees answered an anonymous survey, 50 participated in focus groups and 100 leaders took part in virtual workshops.

What was the reported impact on or feedback from participants?
Survey responses from 61 attended showed 52 responders considered responded it was a ‘great’ use of their time, and 9 selected ‘good’ use of their time. One participant shared: "Even with a pretty compassionate team, I think all of us learned a tremendous amount in that one short hour and it was clear the team wanted to continue the conversation afterward."

How has the ACT Program helped you become an Ambassador of Compassion? 
I began this journey considering myself knowledgeable about compassion, but my learning has increased exponentially. I am so much more aware of suffering in all its forms and I recognize acts of compassion more frequently. In my workplace, I am helping employees navigate the complex challenges of economic uncertainty, geopolitical issues and racial injustice. 

What advice would you give to someone who's considering participating in the ACT Program? 
Don't hesitate! I have relished the opportunity to learn from such accomplished teachers. I have enjoyed meeting my fellow Ambassadors, even as an introvert who doesn't typically enjoy making new acquaintances, especially in situations where people are being vulnerable. I discovered that when those people are equally as interested in the topic of compassion, building relationships with them is fast and easy!



Be the change!

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