Our Workplaces Have Changed ….And They Are Continuing to Change
The modern workforce consists of five generations of workers. The Millennial generation is better educated that those who are a part of Generation X. Millennial women are more than four times more likely to have a college education that their Grandparents. Now layer in to this multiple generational environment the fact that workplace technology is very rapidly changing how decisions get made. Let’s not forget that data is moving faster an in greater quantities than at any point in human history.
These factors have driven a cultural change in the workplace that is highlighted by the move from a hierarchical and institutional organization where the boss wins to an environment where the best idea wins. From office-bound “walking-in to work” to remote and flexible “logging-in to work”.
How do you avoid the work Whipsaw in this ever-evolving environment? How do you avoid falling foul, despite your best of intentions, of misplaced leadership energy, measuring something for the sake of it and losing focus on the end goal in this mine field with new players and new rules?
Lots of Positive Energy, but How Do We Achieve “Escape Velocity”
I was recently having a conversation with a CEO friend of mine that was observing that sometimes his teams at work appear to be operating like the players on his kid’s soccer team. This was not a derogatory comment. Instead what he noticed was that every player tended to energetically run toward the ball and follow it in a cluster instead of playing in the pre-determined position.
Likening this to his high-pressure work environment, he said his team tends to collectively run to the biggest problem or the issue with the loudest voice (figuratively, “the ball”). We commented on how great leadership communication and creating the right balance of work environment loaded with the right talent can overcome the issues he was facing and, just in the same way that the soccer team develops over time, his team can learn how to play their given position with effectiveness leading to a positive outcome for all.
At the end of the conversation I gave my friend two resources. The first was our Talent Enablement Tool. He used the tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses of his teams, increase the value that the teams add to the business strategy and determine how this contributed to a competitive advantage.
The second resource I gave to my friend was the new book by Alex Shootman, CEO of Workfront.
How to Get Work Done Right[P]
Over the last three years I have been an avid watcher of Workfront’s emergence as the first modern work management application platform that connects enterprise work, collaboration, and digital content into an operational system of record (OSR). Leading this category defining organization is CEO, Alex Shootman. Alex’s passion for this category and his experience in leading Workfront in over 3000 client engagements led him to write Done Right.
Done Right is a great read that focuses on the modern work and preparing for the way we will work tomorrow. The book really pulls together all the moving parts in the puzzle modern work, specifically:
- Understanding why work needs to matter
- Starting to appreciate that the path needs to be clear for the team and that everyone needs to buy in to the journey you are on
- Realizing that the way leaders marshall their team need to be more collaborative and engaging that in the past
- Identifying that the answer to the problem is likely already in the room
It’s Not Just Academic
One of the main reasons I recommended Done Right to my friend is not just that it is loaded with wisdom from over 3000 client engagements at Workfront or that it pulls from 30 interviews with today’s brightest leaders and tomorrow’s future leaders. There was another reason for the recommendation, and that is that Done Right comes with practical exercises and an overall Exercise Workflow that allows you to immediately make the knowledge within the book actionable to get work done today.
One of the exercises that last helped me the most was to define my “Compass Point Question”. This question is defined as the one simple question that will always keep you on track and lead you back to your extraordinary goal. This is easy to conceive as a modern work best practice, but it is very difficult to action. That’s why I like Done Right. It offers a worksheet for this and nine other key prerequisites to harnessing today’s talent and going work right.
In my opinion Alex’s book is a must read for the senior leaders of tomorrow and today’s coaches of those future senior leaders. Done Right is available here.
Download the Talent Enablement Tool. Leverage this tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your teams, to increase the value that your teams add to your business strategy, and to determine how this adds to your competitive advantage.
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