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Is work broken?

Is work broken and if so, how can we fix it?



Proposal:


Work is changing and we need to adapt. This requires that we change some of our habits and the way that we look at things. Starting in early 1920s, an 8-hour work day was based on factory work; 8 hours of work, 8 hours of leisure time and 8 hours of sleep each day. But now that we are in the digital age – do we really need to work 8 hours a day?


  • Your physical presence. It looks like we needed a pandemic to realize that not everybody in the company has to commute to the office every day and work 8 hours in that office to get the best out of them. Physical presence can make a difference in certain circumstances, but we need to find a balance between those two things.

  • Evaluate the hours you work and focus on your tasks. Once we shift our focus from the number of hours that someone works to the output and value that they provide, we can create a much more natural and harmonies work experience that would allows us to have enough time for other important things in our lives.

  • Take a look at the systems from start to finish. Whether it is hiring or firing people, we need to focus on the human side of the business rather than just generating output just to generate output. People can’t do good work in bad systems.

  • Recruiting teams and not people. When hiring, it is not enough to just specify what type of person you are looking for because that way you end up with a company or a team that if filled with people who are the same and who think the same. The best teams are diverse teams.

  • Reevaluate what busy means, create outputs that make sense. Keeping everybody busy creates an illusion that you are producing the best possible output. But, being busy does not relate to the outcome. It is crucial that we look at being busy in a different way- doing work generates work for someone else and if we are not doing the work in the right way, the work that other people do as a result of that is just a waste of time.

  • Creating space for imagination. When you allow yourself some down time and you allow your brain to wonder, a great creativity can come from that. Our brain needs that time to find other ways o working, to find better ways of working and come up with better solutions to our problems.

  • Keep humans at the center and have respect for the people in the working environment. The customer should be at the center of our work. We need to make sure that we deliver to that customer and that the output that we provide as a company or organization is something worthwhile. Respect for others also has to come into play if we want to deliver value to our customers.



Impact:

Should we spend the third of our lives working? If we can work less and be more effective, working more is not the answer. Fixing work is not so straightforward, but if we don’t address some of the big, systemic problems, the whole human race is headed towards a disaster. We need to humanize the way we think about work, transform our systems and put the value that we provide at the top of our priorities.

Co-creator passion:

The Kanban Method, an effective approach for organizations to achieve greater business agility. It embraces the constant change inherent to managing knowledge work and enables IT, financial services, insurance and global organizations to become more collaborative, unified and productive in the face of growing competitive pressures and organizational chaos.


Invention of the week:

Adiff Tent Jacket, a lightweight trench jacket that can transform into a tent with purchase of base and poles. The best part is that it is “buy one-give one” system, meaning they donate one jacket for every purchase to a person who has been displaced or potentially homeless.






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