Updated: Jan 20
When it comes to people, we're a strange lot... working in habitual cycles (that we sometimes have to break) and struggling to keep our energy systems where we want them. We don't know what's good for us half the time and the rest of the time we're wondering how to go about obtaining what's good for us. Life is a set of gears we spend all our years getting used to until finally we discover that we weren't in the driving seat as often as we thought we were.
Our disconnection with basic laws of nature has done us few favours here. We sit in our comfy boxes (that someone else built) and munch our way through foodstuffs that should be out of reach. We don't have to work for anything except money - the rest of our needs are provided by means of payment that no other creature on the planet has to afford. Their lives are all they have, and because we are now geared this way, we even strip those from them without a second thought and have trouble reasoning out how to make our own survival profitable.
The basic tenet of my courses is to get our thinking back to some semblance of what it should be. Our approach to life makes the difference between success and failure, but Uncertainty is going to be there regardless of what we do - you can't take all the universal laws out of the equation. Those laws that drive the fan belt, they have to be taken into account if we're going to make the best of what we have, avoid pitfalls, maximise opportunities, enjoy responsibility, and lighten the load. Most humans don't want to leave their workplace, they want it to be happier to walk into every morning. They want to feel good about themselves while they are there. They want colleagues to be friends, not contestants. And most of all, they want to be able to sleep at night knowing that the best they brought to the day was more than good enough.
When you're looking for more profitability, check you're looking in the right place. Money has become such an endemic part of the human system that we get wrapped up in tricks of the light and miss important keys lying in the shadows. The biggest lie of all is that Time is Money... even Time is not what you might think it is. More on that elsewhere.
Cultural transformation comes from optimising choice, and wiring the mainframe to illuminate the fact that the best choices lead to best practice. The best choices lead to improved relationships, constructive communication, alignment, proactive behaviours, helpful synergy, engagement and yay - the joy of coming in to work every day. This has diddly squat to do with money. Some say to me, "but all everyone really wants is a pay rise." Think again - all everyone really wants is to be at peace with themselves.
So while you're contemplating what to do with Best Practice management, and your back's against the wall to increase productivity and quality and just-in-time fulfilment, forget the bottom line. Just put it down for a moment. The bottom line is the track you just ran on, water under the bridge, a serious illusion that makes people believe it's the only thing of any meaning. Let it squeal in the corner for a while, you can come back to it later. Go and have a look at the people downstairs, and if it's been a while since you stepped into the engine room, enjoy the scenery for what it is. The machinery stays there, silent every night, reliant on humans to do its job well without cracking under the strain. The people move around it, in and out of whirring corridors, thinking thoughts you can't imagine for you are not them, you are there to manage their being there. You're there to shine a light on what needs to be done. You're the beacon of their hope for the future. You have a responsibility, and if you can't enjoy it, who can?
You're not alone in this. Come back to the drawing board next year with new plans and a better fuel source. Trust me, it's just waiting to be found.