Why I Joined a Catalyst Constellations Retreat
Georges Sassine, Principal, GE Energy Consulting
“There are so many types of change agents and Catalysts” was the first thing Georges Sassine told us at the end of the first Catalyst Constellations retreat. Indeed, he had just spent a revitalizing week-end in Northern California surrounded by business design strategists, heads of innovation in big companies, executive directors, entrepreneurs… People working in so many different fields and coming from such various backgrounds that at first it seemed hard to find points in common. For that matter, there are many ways to name those we chose to name “Catalysts”, who could also be called “activators”, “game changers”, “change agents”, “paradigm breakers”… Being a Catalyst is not defined by a job, a position or by the creation of a business but rather by a frame of mind. They are people driven by the will to change something in the world and creating the conditions to do so and have a concrete impact on a sector, an activity or a population. Several telltales unmistakable signs have been determined to allow people identify as such.
“We want to change the world and we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves”. However, one can only be efficient and visionary if the well-being of one’s body and mind is maintained. An additional common feature between Catalysts is this ability to multi-task, work a lot and be optimistic … sometimes too optimistic about their physical and psychological tiredness. Georges is leading growth initiatives at a Fortune 10 company and identifies as a “social intrapreneur”. After working with several different companies, he dedicated himself to innovate and help revolutionize the energy industry. Simultaneously, he co-founded a non-profit to help build the newly formed oil and gas industry in his home country Lebanon.
“The importance of self-care and rejuvenation across that journey is really critical – there is a need for the right tools and processes”, and that’s precisely the goal of the Catalyst constellations retreats. By getting people dealing with similar concerns together, Shannon and Tracey wish to build the conditions to help them help each other, to equip them with useful advice and co-create solutions. And above that, the simple awareness that other people are facing the same challenges is comforting. That’s how Georges realized that “I cannot be a Catalyst if I am not surrounded by other Catalysts helping me. Regardless of the industry they are in, a Catalyst support group is vital to help sustain and grow our game changing initiatives”.
Catalysts can be subject to burn out, loneliness, getting clear on our next step – to name a few. Therefore, the added value of the retreats lies in the opportunity to take a step back, relax and recharge. By changing context, disconnecting for a few days and sharing everyday life with fellow travelers, Catalysts open themselves to rejuvenation.