Where a growing circle of business leaders comes to share, learn, and inspire organizations to put people first

Whirling Chief
Nº 161

A Job For All: Making Our Work Experience Better…

Following our post ‘Forget Diversity, Are We Ready to Talk Inclusion‘ on Monday, I was approached by a dear colleague and was asked whether I, a “credited business person” naturally interested in further growing her business should speak/ share on topics we do via Whirling Chief. I loved the question so much, I wanted to share some of our exchange unedited because it opens such an exquisite window into the future and our mission… Special thanks to our colleague who graciously agreed for me to share their portion.

Colleague: “Are you not scared that people would take you as a, you know, getting ‘softer’?”

Me: “Oh my God, I am scared everyday. Not so much for being taken as a ‘softy’ as for giving into temptation to walk away from our mission.”

C: “Some of the language seem too flowery for business…”

Me: “I appreciate that we are approaching business from another angle now…”

C: “But, what do you expect to achieve? You certainly can’t change people’s minds on some of these topics? Business is all about bottom-line!”

Me: “Personally, I’d never want to aim to ‘change’ anyone or their thoughts. I think our team members and collaborators would agree. What we want to accomplish as a team is to provide a safe place, where business people can discuss some of the unspoken and of what’s deeply needed,  a turn around on cynical and yet sadly true perception of the dominant business culture in the world today. The old clichés about business – it being a dog-eat-dog world, only those speaking loudly win, being kind has no place at work – and I say, unfortunately, still rings true for the majority. Business has become de-humanized and impersonal. Human beings are being treated as functions or objects and often, unconsciously. ‘Change’ has lost its true meaning because it is a way of operating. We’ve advanced in our processes and technologies and yet, employee engagement levels have not moved up in the past 20 years, according to Gallup. The vast majority of people are dispirited and uninspired at work. They feel disrespected, not listened to, and devalued.” 

C: “Help me understand then how does your consulting business relate to this Whirling Chief?”

Me: “SESIL PIR Consulting GmbH continues to be the sole investor/ funds provider for our platform, but we do hope to have other sponsors in time. Currently, we have three paid team members and eleven non-paid contributors, including myself. That said, we are in the process of developing a new leadership program in collaborations with CCARE of Stanford University & a technology firm I can’t yet announce in developing new applications, which makes us very proud.”

For those who know me, have worked me, it should come as no surprise if I announce after years in people practice, traveling the world, supporting R&D, sales and manufacturing across multiple industries and having the honour to work with some of world’s most recognized leaders, I have come to realization that the way we do business and the way we lead is no longer complimentary to the demands of our modern lives nor to our way of being as human species.

There is a real suffering in our workplaces. I appreciate suffering is a heavy word; yet, there is intense inequity, impracticality, aggression, exhaustion and depression. We are being pulled from a thousand different directions all at once. We feel disconnected and lonely. There is information, sound and light everywhere. Suggestions, meetings, phone calls, new applications fly in the air: “Buy this, sell that!”, “Have you tried this app?”, “Top 10 of X you must read!”, “Did you see so and so published 5 ways to do Y?”… Oh my God, are we swooning in data? Interestingly, scientists and humanists would tell us what we need is not more confirmation or data, rather the courage to show up to our own reality.

We need to reground ourselves on the WHY of business and leadership, we need to push ourselves to learn a new vocabulary, introduce new ways of being, new ways of doing and inject hope in our precious hearts.

But it doesn’t stop there…

Technology is leading us.

IBM Research recently published a study, 5 on 5, predicting what inventions may merge into our lives in the next 5 years. When you look in detail, every one of the predictions support our case of bringing humanity back into workplace. How so?

One of the predictions IMB Research published, for example, is that with the advancement in artificial intelligence technologies, our words will be a window into our mental health: Yes, they will be! Not only we need a new vocabulary to reprogram our brains to think and feel differently, our choice of words will be used as an indicator of our well being. Another example is in the area of cognitive computing, which will introduce a whole another layer of depth and clarity into our ability to see, hopefully changing the nature of many jobs, including HR.

Our lives are much different today than they were ten, twenty, fifty years ago.

Our environment, socio-economic ecosystems are different.

Unless we take time to re-invent the way we do business and invest in the way we work, we are going to become contributors of separation, alienation, depreciation we so readily criticize. It is a fact: Those organizations that invest in employee experience out-do their competitions by four times in profit. We have a choice.

Colleague: “Are you actually able to help companies save $ by leading transformations? I won’t tell anyone. Grin.”

Me: “… Look… If a leader or a business wants to hear the typical on strategy execution or change mgmt., there is literally hundreds of consulting firms they can turn to. I have hired and worked with very best of them as an executive for many years.

We are proposing a completely different way of being. We are solving problems from inside out. We are inquiring leaders to go deep-er. To pull on the courage of being a better version of themselves and of their organizations. And yes, we are driving profit EVERY TIME!”

I will finish with a quote from Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett, one of my personal role models in life:

“In our lives, every vision must begin & end in an economic argument in order to be heard… We know in our hearts and minds that we are bigger, wilder, more precious than numbers and more complex than any economic outcome can describe…”

We believe in our mission of making work places better wholeheartedly. The question just may be: Do you?

Date

  • 24 January 2018

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