The Challenge: 2020 is on the horizon and way too many workplaces are still screwed up. Hence my passion and commitment to help create great workplaces and cultures. Essentially we need to unf#%k work. As a public figure, I suppose I should be more dignified in describing it. However if it helps get the point across, so be it. The following is an excerpt from an excellent book: Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan. Do any of the 12 points below ring a bell?
1. “Insist on doing everything through ‘channels.’ Never permit shortcuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
2. Make ‘speeches.’ Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your ‘points’ by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
3. When possible, refer all matters to committees for ‘further study and consideration.’ Attempt to make the committees as large as possible—never less than five.
4. Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
5. Haggle over the precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
6. Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to reopen the question of the advisability of that decision.
7. Advocate ‘caution.’ Be ‘reasonable’ and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
8. Be worried about the propriety of any decision—raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
9. When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
10. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
11. Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, paychecks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
12. Apply all regulations to the last letter.”
What we can do about it? I have huge confidence that my 10 Elements for Building Extraordinary Cultures is a framework that when applied, works to smash the aspects of work that crush our souls. However, as a foundation we also collectively need to declare that we’ve had enough of the 12 stinkies Dignan outlined above. We don’t need a culture strategist (although people like me can be helpful catalysts). Let’s all just start confronting the stupid aspects found in our work, and continue taking small steps to remedy. As an example, this very week, kill one dumb zombie meeting that sucks the life out of you. If it’s your meeting, stop it. If your supposed to attend, just don’t go and explain why. Keep going up and down the 12 things noted above. Don’t stop. You’re worth it!
One Millennial View: Pretty simple, but so true. It seems many of these issues stem from cultures abiding by fictional red tape. There seems to be a lot of trepidation to rewrite blueprints that everyone knows could use improvement. Why? What’s the hold up? “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” applies to plenty of things, but not zombie meetings.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis