We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Bruder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work-life balance is a myth! After years of seeking the unattainable goal of work-life balance, I realized that a more realistic and meaningful life pursuit is a work-life blend. Seeking work-life balance creates an artificially adversarial relationship between work and life. Many of those seeking balance demonize work and label work as something that needs to be limited. This not only impacts their workplace productivity, relationships, and career advancement but also limits their personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
U.S. workers spend around 40% of their waking time in work or work-related activities. Given that most adults have some type of job, the time we spend working dominates other areas of life. Time at work should be welcomed as an opportunity to connect to other people from various backgrounds and belong to something meaningful. These human needs can be partially met through our time at work. Look at the increase in depression, domestic violence, and other negative outcomes when the reaction to COVID-19 mandated that much of the country could not physically go to work.
Personally, my time at work, the people I have worked with, and the training I received at work have had the greatest positive impact on my life. Early in my career, I learned how to respond to and serve customer needs. This required me to become more emotionally intelligent and listen before speaking. My company also trained me how to adapt to changing environments and lead employees to achieve common goals.
I was grateful for the ability to learn and grow at work. However, this didn’t simply impact my work life; I realized these “workplace” skills were valuable in my relationship with my wife, and later these skills helped me become a better father and member of my community. This ability to blend what I learned at work was instrumental in helping me become a better person. If I demonized work and felt that work was an obstacle to a fulfilling personal life (a common result of seeking work-life balance), my personal growth, relationships, and general wellness would have been hurt.
As each person pursues their potential, there are several elements of life that, when blended, lead to personal fulfillment and lifelong joy. These areas include relationships, general wellbeing, work, and personal interests. Recognizing that blending these elements creates the greatest opportunity to realize potential, people should seek ways to learn from work and apply these learnings to other areas of life.
It is time the work-life balance myth is dispelled and work-life blend is embraced.
What should our readers know about your business?
Blendification, LLC is a platform that is returning business to its original purpose of providing solutions that positively impact employees, customers, and communities.
Blendification harmonizes work and life unifying organizational strategy management with employee growth and development. When employees and business work in unison, business potential and employee potential complement and feed off each other.
What excites me most about Blendification is the pioneering of a new industry category called ConsulTech (Consulting Technology). It was critical that the Blendification Ethos would be accessible to everyone in an organization. Adapting our culture, strategic planning, strategy execution, and employee development programs and workshops to software has enabled companies to create transparency and alignment while making employees’ jobs meaningful and fulfilling.
The physical blending of work and life is obvious as more people are working from home. Our company, Blendification, acknowledges the physical combination of work and life but goes much deeper. Blendification looks at the potential for work to have a tremendously positive impact on all aspects of life.
Nearly a decade ago, I set out to develop a platform that would enable leaders to take their business and employees to much higher levels than previously thought possible. It started as consultant-led workshops for culture, strategy, and employee development. The platform was further refined through teaching in the executive MBA and MBA programs at two universities. I soon realized that we would not be able to engage everyone in the company through traditional workshops. After completing a TEDx Talk, I wrote and published the book, “The Blendification System.” The workshops, teaching, and book then served as the platform to develop ConsulTech where our traditional consulting programs have been embedded into innovative and exciting business software.
When pioneering a new product segment, there are many challenges and setbacks.
My business partner, Shawn DeVerse, and I have maintained a laser focus on providing everyone in an organization with the ability to align with the company’s culture and goals. When looking at general business software, we realized it isn’t very exciting or engaging. Most business software replaces what people are already doing and is focused on task productivity. While these features are captured in the Blendification software, our objective has a more meaningful and engaging outcome.
Blendification software enables enhanced productivity along with greater connectivity. Shawn and I realized software can be a catalyst for creating better connections within organizations and serve as a platform for stimulating creativity in thought and strategy while also helping employees become closer on a personal level.
This ambitious outcome has not been easy. We initially thought we could accomplish this with a few software developers. We soon realized that, to create the next generation of business software, we would need a much larger software development team. As we went further down the software design and development path, we began to see the true potential that software has in unifying companies and employees. At the same time, the response to COVID and the work-from-home mandates made it even more clear that our software solution needed to be robust and set the direction for the future of business software.
We have also learned that our quest for activating potential by harmonizing work and life will likely never end. With each passing day, we identify new opportunities and capabilities that can be incorporated into future software versions. We are incorporating predictive analytics, AI, virtual collaboration, and many other opportunities. Scope creep can be a challenge when possibilities are limitless. We have managed that by having clear scope within versions. That way, we can release software to the users without delay and continue the creative journey.
In summary, companies have the potential to positively impact employees, customers, and communities but this is becoming more challenging. Blendification is leveraging technology to enable businesses to develop an intentional culture, a corresponding strategy, and an employee engagement platform to align business interests with employee interests. The result of blending work and life is that companies, through their operations, activate employee potential and enhance business results.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would jump on our bikes and ride up Flagstaff Mountain Road in Boulder. After the initial climb, we would tackle the steepest part of the mountain, one referred to as “Super Flag.” Then we’d head into the city, cycling through Boulder Canyon and Magnolia Road, the most intense roads in Colorado!
Eventually, we would head back down and grab breakfast at Huckleberry in Louisville. The entire ride would be spent discussing family and business ventures.
We would continue through CU and check out several other landmarks in the city.
After a good afternoon nap, we would sit down to have a quiet, home-cooked meal on my deck overlooking the Flatirons, accompanied by our wives.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife, Denise, has been my partner, not in my business, but in life. Her faith and support have enabled me to realize a life passion for helping people pursue their potential through their work and vocation.