Why is meaningful participation so important? For one thing it connects the ‘small picture’, where we participate in our work, with the ‘big picture’ that provides context and meaning to what we are doing. People are more likely to work on the harvest of a crop that  sow. We all know intuitively that when our work has personal meaning we give our energy and time more fully. This is true for just about everyone else. Our work is providing us signifcance and relevance. It is empting to think that material possessions can provide significance and relevance, common sense and experience constantly reminds us otherwise. Dave Smith has written a wonderful book about this topic entitled ‘to be of use: The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work’ – definately worth a look. It made me rethink my approach to my own work it might do that for you too.