Have you also noticed ? How many people you see dragging themselves through the office, through their lives ? They seem to have lost sense of engagement.
It makes me so sad. Such a shame not to enjoy life.
Sad in the sense of empathy, and the feeling there is little I can do about it. Maybe just write a blog and hope that some of my readers will get inspired and re-find that spark that makes yourself worthy.
We all know what caused this feeling of uncompleted, not being worthy, being imperfect.
It’s caused by the disconnect between the soft/hardware of your company and the world outside there.
- The software is what is between your ears. But even more so about the fine sensors you have in your whole body. This is not about “mind”, this is about “heart” and “feeling”. Deep feeling.
- The hardware is about how your company is structured. The hierarchies. The power games. The team dynamics. The motivational models. The focus on the optimization engine with efficiency programs like Lean and SixSigma that such the soul out of great companies. At the end there is only efficiency and no soul.
That’s why people are “dragging” their feet. They just FEEL its not right. And they have lost the energy to fight. The hope to regain their souls.
But of course there is something you, we, all of us can do about it.
We can start a movement
From within. Find the peers who care about people, about life, about soul.
And of course we can ask help. Outside help if needed.
The NEW ECONOMY demands speed, creativity, dynamism, perseverance, courage, knowledge and the ability to work with others on a multicultural basis.
The NEW SOCIETY, prompted by the Human Interest movement, demands respect for individuality, freedom, mobility and quality of life
The last thing a fish can see is the water he is in… It’s very difficult to understand the “cultural mechanisms” in which we live and breath. Leaders should be made aware that they are “trapped” in cultural viruses. We see in too many occasions that cultural viruses are multiplying and contaminating substantial parts of the organization or company. Be accountable to manage and master this non-transparent but very present dimension in the engine of the organization.
It brings me to the topic of team dynamics.
I am very lucky to be part of a great team.
But due to the stress of the last months, we seem to regress a bit as a team. Just a little bit. In the sense that we start to grow more individualistic.
Luckily some of us have good “consciousness” antennas, and the team is strong enough to 1) bring this to the table and 2) openly discuss them.
My alarm-bell went off when a new team member joined, and I witnessed myself not 100% caring for the newcomer. I said something like “Throw him in the water, and he will learn to swim”. That’s not fair. Because there are so many new things to learn, so many unwritten conventions, rules, habits, cultures.
The problem was
that I did not have any time left
to give quality time to each other
- Luckily our team is great, and we are working on great inspirational topics.
- Luckily the newcomer is outspoken and has the courage to send invitations for feedback.
But I can imagine if you are not in such a team, if your have not this courage, if you have lost some of your closest colleagues is the latest restructuring, and you can’t work with your new boss and the new efficiency rules, that you get dragged.
We should not let this happen. We have to redefine, revive the company culture from within. Push it to the next level. Be viral. Infect he company, as it will not work by a top down approach or rolling out a big program.
Live the spark, the energy, the enthusiasm. And hope – be sure – that it will have a rippling effect – no, an unstoppable wave – within your team, spreading out to other teams, to other departments, to other regions, to other companies, to everybody you meet everyday.
Enthusiasm is contagious.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help. And to offer help. Probably one of the best ways I can offer help is by transferring authority to others. To hold the bike saddle and then let go. But WITH transfer of authority.
Be not afraid to show vulnerability. Create safe harbors for vulnerability. These harbors become like the womb for the fetus.
Your team could be a womb.
be nice to yourself
It’s ok to be imperfect.
I am excelling in being imperfect by NOT being nice to myself. It has to do with the word “mildness”. Be “mild” for yourself. For yourself first. I used to say to others: “apply mildness to the 3rd degree”. But it did not come across as authentic. As I was not able to be nice for myself. People, human beings just “feel” when you’re not authentic.
Brené Brown has written a whole book about this.
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness.
Have a look at the “look” of her website. The illustrations have something “round”. The site creates some feeling of safety. Of roundness. Of “womb”-ness. It has a feminine softness/roundness that we seem to have lost in our company hard- and software.
I was very touched and moved by her TEDxHouston talk of June 2010.
The video is a 20 min summary of her book: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
The video has subtitles, so the words have more impact. Without trying to make a transcript of her talk, here are some lines that resonated very strong with me:
- Shame as the fear of disconnection
- Don’t try to outsmart vulnerability
- Do you believe YOU are worthy of love and belonging ?
- Courage, compassion, connection.. who you are with all your heart
- The courage to be imperfect
- Be kind to yourself first
- Connection as the result of authenticity
- Let go who you think you should be
- What makes me vulnerable makes me beautiful
- Do something where there are no guarantees
- Research is about control and predict
- You know who you are when you think you need help
- See a therapist who sees therapists: no family, no childhood shit, I just need some strategies
- Vulnerability is the care of shame and fear and your struggle for worthiness
- But also source and birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, love
- Vulnerability and tenderness are important
- We “numb” the vulnerability. We “numb” everything
- Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort
- But then there is no conversation, discourse
- We try to perfect our children, but babies are hardwired for struggle
- We pretend that what we do does not have an effect on people
- Let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen
- “I am enough”
Suddenly it became clear to me:
The difference is in
the (lack of) indifference
It’s about the capability
to be able
to relate to this
I am playing with the idea of building into Innotribe at Sibos 2011 in Toronto a topic on “New Corporate Culture” or “Towards a new corporate culture of difference”. Where we would invite people like Brené Brown, Vineet Nayar, Andre Pelgrims, Keith Yamashita, Marc Dowds and others ?
Something else than technology. Something else than payments. Something that touches our lives everyday. Probably more hours at work than at home. To feel happy, fulfilled, and worthy should resonate with all of us, no ? Or are you not afraid of becoming one of these “dragging” people ?
Let’s put back the “juice” in our companies.
What do you think ? Sibos ? About new corporate culture ? You really don’t have to suffer alone !