Getting Unstuck: Putting Humans First – an Interview with Mike Vacanti

I help people discover the possibilities for themselves and the people with whom they operate.

How human is your workplace? How can what works well at work, work even better? Whom do you rely on to initiate change at work: Yourself? Or “leadership” from above? These are just a few of the questions we’ll discuss with Mike Vacanti. Mike is a catalyst. He works with organizations to:

  • move leaders and teams beyond their perceived limitations

  • empower people and teams to more closely align with meaningful purpose

  • drive results, and win in business and life

He is also the inspiration behind the #Human First Club – an intimate conference that seeks to “inspire positive change, growth and sustainability through stories, experiences and open-dialog, addressing the future of work, personal and organizational development, wellness and strategies for success in today’s transformational business climate.”

“There’s an overemphasis on waiting for somebody else to create the change.” Mike, mixing it up with some of his guest speakers and participants at #HumanFirst Club events.

“There’s an overemphasis on waiting for somebody else to create the change.” Mike, mixing it up with some of his guest speakers and participants at #HumanFirst Club events.

Listen and Reflect

“What we stop doing is more important than what we do next – simplify, amplify, and focus.”

  • Either strategically or tactically, what’s something you or your organization should stop doing?

• “I went through self-discovery and started to reframe my personal mission – to understand what impact I wanted to have. It became important for me to understand how I was living my life.”

  • When and where do you take time to step back and self-reflect on the course of your life?

“Given the opportunity, people will amaze us – but we don’t give them the opportunity.”

  • How omnipresent is “prescriptive authority” in your organization?

“Are we trying to prove or improve?”

  • Where is your organization on the continuum of prove to improve? Do you simply research and implement “best practices,” or do you push them further to better your organizational needs and goals?

”Small gains from a few people can lead to huge gains for the company.“

  • Where would most people say that leadership reside in your organization – only at the top or throughout the rank and file?

“My focus in the programs was around people, not around organization design. I’m just the creative spark that says ‘What if?” I just shake the compass a bit.”

  • How harmonic is your company relative to its focus on strategy, marketing, infrastructure and operations, and its focus on people?

“Companies and leaders often have an ‘assumption of sameness’ – the belief and command that ‘you become like me.’”

  • How much divergent thinking is tolerated / encouraged in your organization?

“It’s not about people before profits, it’s about people for profits .”

  • Where would you organization operate relative to Mike’s view here?

I decide to take less and do less – to really jump tracks and get on a different path. If I didn’t have that experience of personal change, who am I to help others?

For more information on Mike

LinkedIn profile

MJ Vacanti - catalyst and coach

#HumansFirst Club

  • Philadelphia, PA - October, 2019

  • Chicago, IL - November, 2019

  • Austin, TX - March, 2020

  • New York, NY - Coming soon

Jeff Ikler