A huge and increasingly human need and a huge possibility in business
We are standing in the middle of a paradigm shift. We are moving from the industrial society to the knowledge- and learning society.
The values of the industrial society exist in us as our unnoticed and automatic pilots, that steer our habitual thinking and behaving - also in our organizations.
There is a lot of potential here - if you change your focus, as employees, leaders, and decision makers - you can replace stress and disengagement with engagement and more value and meaning.
Research, develop and set into action our capabilities as unique, creative human beings
Also, we need to research, develop and set into action our capabilities as unique, creative human beings. This is the foundation for dynamic and creative organizations, that can adapt to the ever changing world.
YOU need to change, WE need to change
Today we are talking about "a worldwide employee engagement crisis" (Gallup, 2013, 2016). Therefore we need to take action, not only our leaders and decision makers but you and me. We need to be more aware of and change those dominant values - both in our organization, but also in your career and in your private life.
We are moving away from a focus on mass production, efficiency, measurement, control and management of employees etc. - Excel-thinking and Excel-values. We are moving towards a focus on human beings, on creativity, on emotions. Here design and design thinking represent a radically new approach and an additional set of skills, methods, and techniques.
The knowledge- and learning society represents a whole new set of values and new understandings of various central things in our lives, like 'work', 'leadership', 'time' and 'human being'.
We need to understand our values and our history
In the late 19th century, Frederick Taylor introduced 'Scientific Management', a method for planning the production in order to increase efficiency. This factory management system consisted of evaluating every step in a manufacturing process and breaking down production into specialized repetitive tasks. That is the reason why we today are struggling with this view in our organizations. Today it is a necessity for being an innovative employee. that you understand your organization as a whole!
Examples of other central values:
HUMAN BEING / Also, in the industrial thinking, 'human being' was reduced to 'a machine', a set of features that could be manipulated for business purposes. Measurement and control of employees were necessary in order to keep track of time. In today's organizations, control and measurement are mostly experienced as meaninglessness and distrust by knowledge workers. Likewise, an essential activity, creativity, is still perceived as 'fluffy', chaotic and unmanageable activity. Let´s have some linear, controllable processes, that 'guarantee' new successful products.
CREATIVITY / Likewise, an essential activity, creativity, is still perceived as 'fluffy', chaotic and unmanageable activity. Creativity does not fit into linear, controllable processes, that automatically lead to new successful products. So this understanding of creativity is a huge barrier in our organizations today.
PRODUCTIVITY / Likewise is our understanding of 'productivity'. Our societies are busy hunting 'productivity' by working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Most people even work right through their lunch hour.Today we know that the 8-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. It isn´t helping us, it´s actually holding us back. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this assumption and find a new approach.
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS / Search for a "Sustainable competitive advantage", the business guru Porter said years ago. Today it is hard to find new competitive advantages, instead, you need to focus on the ability to change fast and to have a clear purpose that gives meaning to your customers and to your employees.