Dysfunctional Breeds Dysfunction

A colleague was telling me a while back about a dysfunctional organization they were in and how it made them feel…well, dysfunctional. 


I told them:

Never let the organization define you!  You are who you are. 


Honestly, I could see how this situation wore on them.


Then we met up again, and it was like they were a new person. 


I asked them what happened and they said how they made a change in their life and sure enough in a healthy setting and culture, they felt great again!


It’s incredible the negative impact that a bad organizational culture can have on its people. 


But it’s up to you to find the right place for you, so you can be who you are!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Best Jobs 2020 and Beyond

 

So I saw a smart video about which are the best jobs.


They are not the ones that just pay the most!


Here are the three criteria to look for in your next dream job (aside from the money):


1) Autonomy – Work that is self-directed provides satisfaction that jobs that are closely or micro-managed do not. 


2) Mastery – Jobs that allow you get better at them over time  (technical proficiency) provide a sense of mastery and self-respect. 


3) Purpose – When you have a deep sense of purpose and meaning from your work there is simply no greater motivator and satisfier than this. 


I’d also add that the best places to work are the ones with:

  • The best bosses and the nicest people
  •  
  • A solid balance for work and life


Overall, if we can reconnect the profit motive with the purpose motive then we have truly have the best jobs out there. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s In Charge Here?

This was a funny photo…


Sign around the ape says:

Laugh now, but one day, we’ll be in charge


I guess you never know who will be in charge. 

  • Be nice to everyone. 
  • Never burn bridges.


All of life is a circle–and everything and everybody goes around and around.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Leave The Bad Bosses Behind

So an executive colleague reminded me of something about bad bosses:

People don’t leave jobs, they leave [bad] bosses.

It’s very interesting and so often true. 


Of course, people leave for all sorts of reasons, but one of the most important aspects of job satisfaction for employees is their boss!


When you have a good boss–someone with integrity, good communications, trustworthy, fair, and who empowers, develops, and supports you then that goes a very long way towards positive employee engagement and retention. 


However, when the boss is a bad apple and usually everyone knows it, then there is often a mass exit out the organizational door. 


Occasionally, the organizational culture is bad too, and that attracts those bad bosses, promotes their bad behavior, and keeps their bad butts in the corner office seats–this situation is even worse because bad culture and people are mutually reinforcing. 


For the good people out there, leave the bad bosses behind and never look back. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

No Smokestacks Here

People.JPEG

So I heard something good about human capital that I wanted to share:


It goes like this:

“There are no smokestacks here, only people!”


We can’t treat “human capital” in our organizations the way we treat industrial/capital assets in our factories. 


The industrial revolution–along with the sweatshops and smokestacks–have been overtaken by the service and information age.


G-d has blessed us with an abundance of wonderful material things that can now be largely produced by automation and robotization–letting us focus more than ever on developing our people, nurturing their ideas, and realizing their innovations. 


In our organizations, the human assembly line has given way to thinkers and innovators.


Sure, we have to build things and sustain ourselves, but the people behind the things are what counts and not just the things themselves. 


We’ve grown from heartless slave labor and sweatshops to emotionally intelligent, compassionate, and thriving humans beings in the workspace–or so we strive for it to be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It Takes A Village

Village.jpeg

I wanted to share some good tidbits about effective management, collaboration, and engagement that I heard this week at a Partnership for Public Service event.


It Takes A Village – No I don’t mean the book by Hillary Clinton, but rather the idea that no one person is an island and no one can do everything themselves. Rather, we need the strengths and insights that others have to offer; we need teamwork; we need each other!


2-Way Communication – Traditionally, organizations communicate from the top-down or center to the periphery (depending how you look at it).  But that doesn’t build buy-in and ownership. To do that, we need to have 2-way communication, people’s active participation in the process, and genuine employee engagement.


Get Out Of The Way –  We (generally) don’t need to tell people how to do their jobs, but rather develop the vision for what success looks like and then get out of the way of your managers and people. “Make managers manage and let managers manage” and similarly, I would say, hold people accountable but let people work and breath!


Things Change – While it’s important to have consistency, momentum, and stay the course, you also need to be agile as the facts on the ground change.  “Disregard what’s not working, and embrace what is.” But you must stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things.


This is our world of work–our village–and either everyone helps and gets onboard the train or they risk getting run over by it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Third-World Office

Paper Towels.jpeg

So hooray for paper towels. 


A good workspace is definitely conducive to productivity and morale. 


That means cleanliness, open collaborative spaces, quiet work areas/offices, ample supplies, and obviously good technology. 


I’ve been in world-class institutions in terms of their mission, but that were third-world in terms of their work conditions. 


In one place, the bathroom toilets kept getting clogged with paper towels, so they got rid of them altogether, which forced the employees to use toilet seat covers for hand towels–yes, believe it!


Of course, at least we had running water, but there was also often flooding in the cubicle areas and the windows were nailed shut–high-tech security, not. 


In another place, in the private sector, I remember a new CFO coming in and being so cheap that he actually got rid of the milk and creamer from people’s coffee. 


Talking about pennywise and dollar foolish. 


Don’t these institutions get that the way you treat people impacts the way they respond to their work.


How can we be the Superpower of the planet and can’t provide decent, normal work conditions to our workers. 


It goes without saying that treating people with respect, dignity, and value should be happening all the time, but doesn’t.


We’re not even talking six-figure bonuses and stock options either–just treat people like human beings and not indentured slaves or cattle. 


Wake up America–you’re people are worth working plumbing, paper towels, and some milk and creamer for their coffees and really a heck of a lot more than that. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)