22 Nov 2011
The 12 Elements of the Conscious Connected Workplace
Back in August I wrote a post on ‘Company Culture 3.0: The Conscious Connected Workplace’ and promised to write more on it in upcoming blogs. Well other subjects and starting our new business Talent Magnet consumed my attention but writing a feature for Employment Today magazine recently gave me the opportunity to revisit the post and expand on The 12 Elements of the Conscious Connected Workplace. Fair to say it would be nirvana to have all of these elements present in a single business at this moment in time …but you gotta have goals! Where would your business be?
The 12 Elements of the Conscious Connected Workplace
1. Purpose led with strong, authentic values
From governance to the front line, everyone understands the organisational purpose and is able to link their personal ‘reason for being’ to it. Work is meaningful and Values aren’t just on the wall, the website or in the employee handbook, they are demonstrated in behaviours and decisions everyday.
2. Inspirational ‘Master as Servant’ leadership
No ‘command and control’ here! Leaders and managers understand that it is by setting the course then asking ‘How can I help?’ that results are best achieved, offering encouragement, education, insight and the constant corrections required for success in any venture.
3. Sustainable – economic, environmental and social
Not limited to ‘green’ initiatives or solely the responsibility of the Sustainability Manager, sustainability is a philosophy that underpins everything about the way business is done through understanding of interdependent relationships and mutual responsibility – thinking of the business and its place in the various ‘systems’ of which it is a part.
4. Giving is a core part of business
Leaving conventional CSR in the dust and no longer the domain of marketeers trying to make the business look ‘less bad’, generosity (time, money, ideas, compassion, empathy, etc) is aligned with organisational goals, purpose and brand promise and understood for all of the multiple positive business performance opportunities and impacts it presents.
5. Multicultural, trans-generational world view
Rather than creating a cookie cutter, compliance driven organisational outlook on the world, there is an appreciation of the wide range of experience and perspectives present in the organisation along with a genuine commitment to understanding the ‘gap’ and communicating and connecting in a way that encourages contribution and leverages diversity.
6. Connected and transparent, using social business tools inside and out
Social media isn’t just about your business Facebook page, Linked In profile and 140 character Twitter posts. There are many and varied social business tools (ON2net, Yammer, Jive, Chatter, etc) that connect people in new and exciting ways, surfacing experts and leaders at all levels, and encouraging never before experienced levels of collaboration and ideation – both inside the business and with vital connected contributors including customers, investors and suppliers.
7. SMART work practices – where, when, how and with whom you work
Living and working in The Cloud with smart devices and ubiquitous internet connection is creating opportunities to review classic hierarchical organisational structures, fixed job descriptions, team structures, physical work spaces and locations to create development stretch, engagement, efficiency and superior outcomes and experiences.
8. Collaborative and inclusive
Intra and inter business collaboration includes genuine partnerships with suppliers, investors and customers. Communication is transformational rather than transactional; creating the opportunity for dialogue that shapes culture, generates ideas and cements engagement.
9. Physical workspace design that facilitates culture and delivers brand
Approaching interior architecture and design from a basis of brand and values provides the opportunity to add both unique personality and effective use of space and materials. This improves the in-office experience and deliberately shapes behaviours that will drive desired culture and brand through the use of space and people’s experience of it.
10. Agility and continuous improvement are part of organisational DNA
Being agile and responsive, shaping change rather than being at the effect of it, people at all levels are empowered and given the opportunities, knowledge and tools to generate continuous improvement in their parts of the business. The organisation becomes a self evolving performance system aligned to organisational objectives and facilitated by managers at all levels.
11. Being of service is everyone’s job
Customer Service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job. That goes for service to colleagues, suppliers, potential hires … even perfect strangers! There is a deep sense of pride and understanding that being of service is one of the ultimate opportunities to find meaning in work and life.
12. Deep sense of personal responsibility and ownership by all people.
It’s always your turn. Everyone understands that by being the one to take responsibility they are all always doing their best in any given situation, including the ones that don’t go well. When there are failures, they take responsibility and learn. Likewise, with successes, no matter how small, they offer encouragement and are comfortable being celebrated when it’s their turn. Everybody wins.
So, how does your organisation stack up? Can you see how moving toward this model could increase engagement, retention and performance, along with your competitive position for talent and customers? As you can imagine, it’s not a five minute job to create this kind of environment and neither do you have to strive for it all at once. The opportunity is to look at these elements, feel for which ones will move you in the right direction from where you are right now and then get on with it. As Einstein said “Awareness is 90% of the solution”.