It’s no secret that I love my work as a podcast co-host and an organizational change consultant. As a co-host of The HumanCurrent, there are two questions that I am frequently asked: how do we (my co-host and I) practice what we talk about in our podcast and how do we live out our Twitter handle @Letsworkhappy. I love these questions so much that I’ve written this blog to share some of our practices.
My hope is that everyone can experience happiness at work and perhaps by me sharing these favorite practices, you can apply at least one of them at your work. Cheers to working happy!
“Just as scientists, doctors, veterinarians, and engineers study and create systems, leaders must study, change, and create cultures.” The tricky part for leaders is that a culture is also a system--well, it’s many systems working together. So, they have to confront all the underlying systems which shape culture including: values, support systems, social norms, processes, feedback, and rewards systems. It’s daunting, but not impossible. Recognizing that all these systems influence and support company culture is the first step tochange.
It is also important to recognize that culture is not the “job” of one department, or a couple of people. It is a collective effort supported by guiding principles. Silos can ruin culture.
As an example, here are some key areas of focus for crafting a wellness culture within the systems that guide human behavior....
Anytime you have a group of people interacting over time, you have a complex adaptive system. You can have clear hierarchies and role requirements, but what you can't easily quantify is how powerful a role emergence will play in how projects and people take shape when they are all co-evolving. (Especially here at the HumanCurrent podcast, where we run a flat organization.) It's beautiful, really. Together people shape the work, and the work changes them.
There are a lot of factors that have agency to cause the changing shape of any system (let's take a project team as our example), but the most obvious medium for making change or progress is ideas. Here's the thing about ideas and how much power they have....