It’s the System, Stupid

The problem is that people imagine implementing the Work Revolution concepts and principles within their current system. In other words, if you take the energy, not schedules principle and plop it in the middle of an organization that retains its command-and-control management practices, I guarantee that their worst fears will be realized. Here are three examples.

Example 1: You choose to launch a survey to capture grassroots sentiment about how employees are feeling, and promise that employee-driven action committees will make changes based on the results.

Result: The survey says that employees are miserable; the action committee votes to enact a set of policies to expand vacation time and eliminate timesheets.

Fallout: Management has the (proper) foresight to understand what a train wreck this will be, so they spend the next year diffusing the tension caused by unleashing the pessimism of the employees, and smoothing over the fact that the employee-driven action committee was disassembled just four weeks after its inception.

Moral: Grassroots initiatives implemented in a system where employees don’t understand the mission of the organization, where they are not held accountable for results, and where they have no measures of impact, are bound to fail.

Example 2: Your organization decides to embrace the individual-strengths principle and launches a full campaign to identify strengths, and then empower individuals to find the work that aligns with their ...

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