A study in blind trust by The Do Good Bus
GOOD, the media company for people who give a damn, just wrote a piece about The Do Good Bus in Los Angeles that takes folks out to volunteer activities in exchange for a small fee to cover their costs. What is interesting about the model is that they don’t let folks know where they are going or the type of service to be performed. As GOOD reports, they go into it blind. The folks at The Do Good Bus believe this removes the anxiety from volunteering for the first time.
We have the same experience at Taproot with pro bono consultants. Companies and other partners are often surprised to learn we don’t have pro bono consultants select their own projects. They can decline a project, but we are the ones that pick the clients for pro bono consultants. We find this not only is more efficient but actually is a benefit for pro bono consultants. It does remove that anxiety of choosing the right project and also exposes them to topics they never would have explored otherwise.
You never know what will become your passion project
We had a team of 30-something pro bono consultants once who were placed on a project for a senior center in San Francisco. They pushed back and said they understood the need in the community to help the elderly, but it wasn’t a passion issue for them. We asked them to keep an open mind and try it. Not only did they finish the project, but they also stayed on as a marketing advisory board for the organization out of personal conviction.
This same principle works in other fields. Part of the fun of having that box of organic veggies delivered to your door each week is the surprise contents and the creativity they require in the kitchen. It is fun to try different cars when you go to Hertz and be surprised that you like a car you would never have considered buying.
In some cultures, you don’t meet your bride or groom until the wedding day…well, perhaps that isn’t the best example. But on a related front, many couples decide not to find out the gender of their baby before birth. As one such couple shared with me, you get so few real surprises in life.
This is a great example of taking a service shortcoming and turning it into an advantage. Lack of choice is a benefit–it creates adventure and makes you feel alive. And let’s face it: we could all do with making one less decision in our lives.
Photo by Bonnie Hawthorne , from Fast Company.
Aaron Hurst is the President & CEO at the Taproot Foundation.