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WorldLine Training

WorldLine Training

Evolving the Revolution - how far have we come?

SubCon's pre-exhibition magazine brought questions to mind of how far we have come, fighting through the sedentary behaviours of British industry to see the light of day in an era of unprecedented excellence. People increasingly dare to say their working life is not all it was cracked up to be; with tales of 98% leaving their jobs due to intolerable management, human beings are clearly more self-aware and hungry to progress than perhaps they've ever been and what are leaders doing while all this is going on underfoot?

Breaking Barriers - the woman gazing nonchalantly at her 3D printer seems to beg the question - are we keeping up? Had a chat with a contact this morning who thinks like I do, he sees a company as a community instead of a cash cow, takes stresses on board and wonders how to bring his team to excellence from a position of moderate practice. We'll work together soon (I'm in no rush, plenty on at the moment, engagement being a new gem that many leaders are studying curiously). But the ground being broken is hard as igneous rock, it's been there since the Industrial Revolution and only when you really know what you're dealing with will you really know where to start.

Devil's Tower, famed for its starring role in Close Encounters, is an igneous rock formation. Lava cools and solidifies, forming all kinds of materials from glassy obsidian to crystalline granite (see the full story at )  Nature, in other words, does incredible things with raw materials and a company (a corporate community) is not exempt from natural law. We need, urgently, to take account of natural law in the way we view the workplace and the opportunities available to turn it into a wonderful thing.

The more stress that's placed upon it, the more resistant a culture becomes. The more often new initiatives are introduced and withdrawn, the more Trust suffers displacement. The greater the demand for performance, the more truculent the overall response. These are not factors peculiar to any company, they are vestiges of human nature and slowly, slowly are leaders of men* beginning to realise the shortcomings of outdated behaviours. Nevertheless, those ways of being that call out to each other, "it's always been this way" are showing their true colours to be garish, ill-conceived and incongruous against the grain of post-Millennial thinking. The self-actualisation Abraham Maslow conceived in the 1950s is far more advanced than those directorial trends that seem to be standing the test of time.

*that's a colloquial term, not a gender-specific pronoun

If we want to break barriers, we have to be prepared to take new tools to old formations. The draconian style of management that embeds itself in most engineering/manufacturing cultures is still there because it formed and solidified in the Industrial Revolution. After sweat shops became unacceptable, it cooled slowly and became Autocratic, which then turned into Correction-and-Compliance, latterly adopting Lean as a flagstaff, all of which steadfastly ignores the people-centric element in favour of more-easily-defined hardware and systems analysis, staring resolutely at the bottom line. This tradition is dying hard, offering resistance to even the most forward-thinking leaders and causing workforces incredible pain in the process of attempted growth and development. It does not have to be this way. Think about what you really want to become, work with your environment and allow a natural order to develop in favour of the vision you are holding fast.

This is Evolution, and that is how it works.

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