Work - what is it now and how's it working?
How are you settling into your year now that we have nearly 3 months under our belts? We've been easing ourselves in, with ongoing client work and new projects that bring soulful work with human connection and juicy conversations at the heart of them. One of the things we've noticed is that some of our best conversations - personal and professional - take place at the kitchen table or sitting on the veranda or in our semi-regular virtual "hangouts with humans", where the vibe is deep but informal. So, in the spirit of this, we're convening a series of conversations over the next few months to explore emerging ways of working and living, to consider what we're collectively noticing, and how it's shifting in 2023.
Meet in Magic: Community Conversations
We're kicking this off on the 22nd March when we're joining with a group of other interested people to explore the question:
Work - what is it now and how's it working for you?
With all that's going on in the world, people are challenging the very core of work and the part it plays in our lives and starting to make different choices at unprecedented levels. The shift is happening. Do you feel it too? If so, we'd love you to join us and share what you're seeing and sensing. Feel free (and it is free) to sign up and find out more here.
Some food for thought as we head into our conversation about work...
We find we suffer very few Sunday-night-dreading-Monday-morning vibes these days.
How about you? How would you describe work and the part it plays in your life right now? Is it shifting? Is it working for you? Or not? Is it ‘typical’ in the field you’re in? What does ‘typical work’ even look like now? Who decides?
We, like a lot of people, are asking these and other questions about work and how it works in our lives. And we’re making quite different choices for ourselves. We’re also paying close attention to what we see in the world around us and especially in the organisations we work with. And? Well, there are definitely some pattens we’re noticing, including that we aren’t the only ones choosing to radically rethink what it takes to avoid those Monday blues (and it’s not all about running off to a tropical island for months, although that’s an option many are plumping for!) But, that we're still the minority
The current reality:
For most people in most organisations, things aren't changing that much yet. A lot of deeply ingrained thinking and behaviour is still prevalent.
Seven entrenched beliefs we (still) encounter in workplaces:
🔸 Financial results are tangible and real, human emotions are not and should be kept out of the workplace. 🔸 In a complex world we need to simplify things, to give people clear focus and something they can grasp. 🔸 Business success is about relentless pursuit of growth. 🔸 The way to rebalance the economic inequality in our world is for the wealthy to be more philanthropic. 🔸 Most people are ill-intentioned and lazy so we have to manage them and keep an eye on them in an office to ensure they do what they have been contracted to do. 🔸 Change happens through shifting our structures, processes and procedures. 🔸 Knowledge about race, gender, sexuality and other aspects of human diversity fosters greater inclusion.
Seven persistent behaviours we (still) frequently encounter in workplaces:
🔸 People aspire to success as defined by financial earnings, hierarchical rank, & power. 🔸 As an employee, I need to be able to demonstrate a direct line to financial results I've achieved, to justify my value and earn promotions and pay rises. 🔸 Work is about productively completing tasks in exchange for money. It's a transaction. 🔸 Being busy = being productive. 🔸 High potential teamwork focuses on task and acting to achieve shared goals. Nothing more. 🔸 We have meetings so we can exchange information and keep each other up to date, not do actual work together - that happens elsewhere. 🔸 Great leaders are the ones who can inspire others with their vision & then galvanise people to align with their views. Any others you’re spotting? 🤔
So we're asking ourselves some questions:
What is work? How would we define it? And what could it be?
It’s not always joyful and soulful, but when it is work doesn’t feel like work at all! We see increasing numbers of people questioning their work now. More than ever it feels like there’s an opportunity to redefine what it means for us all. In a world that needs to change, is changing, this too is shifting.
Some of the choices we're making...
How do we make work work for us? Well, it’s a constant process of evolution (as life evolves) but these are some of the ways we aim to make it happen:
✨ as part of an integrated life: not separate from everything else that’s important to us. This means that we work flexibly and with the humans (including ourselves) at the heart of it all. It can be hard, it can be messy, but it’s always worth it.
✨ in community with others: our clients, our colleagues, the network of amazing associates we have, and people in the wider world around us. We focus on properly connecting, conversing and collaborating with others and creating spaces of diversity and belonging. It’s not always easy. It’s not always successful. But it’s always what we aim for.
✨ learning is critical: individually and collectively and across modes of knowing, we value it and make space for it. It’s not incidental, it’s one of our core values and is built into our ways of working. We believe it’s what enables us to continue to be both authentic and adaptable in a world of complexity.
It hasn’t always been this way but increasingly we’re unwilling to compromise on these things and it’s what makes love our work (still!) after 25 years or so at it.
How do you make work work for you these days?
If you’re interested in exploring this with us and others, we’d love you to join us and a lovely eclectic group of people who are also asking themselves this question and questions like these.
Sign up here for a conversation space where we’ll dive into it together. Some of the upcoming conversation are:
~ May 4th - Wellbeing at work: oxymoron? ~ June 15th - Leaders as people, people as leaders ~ July 20th - Community - hippie hype or vital for life?
Leading into each of the conversations we'll be sharing some thoughts on the subject over on our new Instagram account. Feel free to follow the conversation there too.