Lessons from 2023 to Bring to 2024

Lessons from 2023 to Bring to 2024

Dec 14, 2023

Letter from Integrated Work CEO Jennifer Lyn Simpson 

What an incredible, challenging, heartbreaking, and inspiring year 2023 has been!

I began the year deep in the writing of the KOAN method: Breakthrough Leadership for a Divided World and spent three-quarters of the year writing, editing, publishing, and launching it. As with most endings or conclusions, however, “finishing” the book was just the beginning. 

I wrote this book at this particular moment in history because I work closely every day with amazing, caring, heart-centered leaders who are deeply devoted to leaving the world better than they found it, and who often find themselves fighting “the good fight” against systems that no longer serve us. If we want a tomorrow in which there is more joy, more prosperity, and more well-being for everyone, we’ve got to be willing to reimagine the ways of living and working that fuel fear, scarcity, and discord.

Here at Integrated Work, we are celebrating our one-year anniversary as a Certified B Corporation, and I’ve been reflecting on the hundreds of inspiring leaders I’ve met this year who are leading breakthroughs in their organizations every day. Whether speaking to an intimate group of other women leading B Corps at the We The Change conference in May, watching human systems fail up close as my family escaped the Maui wildfires in August, or hosting KOAN Conversations with some of my own mentors at the end of the summer as the book was getting ready to launch, it’s the conversations with other changemakers that keep me motivated and inspired. 

There is no question that we are living in challenging times. It would be easy to feel helpless in the face of the deep polarization on so many fronts around us. Every day, though, I see people choosing hope over despair, and I see that work happens best when people join together and lean into empathy and connection — even (especially) in the face of great suffering. 

Some of our Integrated Work clients are already using these JEDI journey cards as a team to dig into tricky issues, explore new ideas, and discover a common good together. Next year, this content will be available in a self-paced JEDI course unlike any I have seen — taking the learner on a journey from personal knowledge and self-awareness to effective leadership and system transformation.

For my own part, I have spent much of this year learning and relearning how to be a more caring leader. Writing this book and bringing it into the world has been like looking in the mirror every day. It has called me to live more and more fully into ways of being I truly believe to be better — both for the results they produce and for the quality of human connection they create. The more I am able to live into this potential, the more I am reminded of the transformation that is possible when a group feels safe and supported in showing up at their very best in service of something they believe in together. 

If you’re ready to deepen connections at your organization, this short download highlights how we can create containers of CARE that both free people to be at their best and help us all better endure the hard days that will inevitably come. 

In the year ahead there will be many more opportunities to engage in the conversation of how to build Kind, Open, Adaptive, Networks that are resilient and thriving. 

Thanks to everyone who has already joined us on the journey! 

Here’s to 2024 being a year of deepening our networks of connection and coming together to find the breakthroughs the world needs now more than ever.