I could have titled this post – What’s Love got to Do with It? A better title maybe, but let’s face it – what a lame tune.
Earlier this week at the CIPD annual conference I heard Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, two world renowned academics tell me and many others how to make work better. I found the talk high on sound bite and light on substance, but among other things that at least have the potential to create purpose and meaning, they talked about:
Involve, involve, involve. Then act – decisively.
Later the same day I was out for dinner with friends. Good friends, who laughed, joked and disagreed too. I got back to my hotel room in a good mood, and having maybe consumed a wee bit too much red wine. Unusually for me, I checked my emails before going to bed and among them was one asking me this question:
‘Why do so many workers feel they have no power to think differently about their workplace?’
Even more unusually I responded there and then – with this:
Most work is coercive, it is done to you. The best work is coactive, it is done with you. It is totally human to want, need and expect that our views be taken into consideration, and yet we defy these wants, needs and expectations at almost every step in out working lives. Never do anything about me, without me. Put simply, as Stephen Covey wrote, ‘We need to listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply’. I think that means we need to bring love and our artistry into work.
I went to bed. The following day Microsoft were kind enough to feature my brief outpouring as a part of their ‘get it done day’. Thanks folks.
So I’d like to add love and artistry to the list of ingredients for purpose and meaning. Some of my work involves helping people unlock the artist in themselves as a pathway to better collaboration and problem solving, and I will look to expand on this thinking further in the coming weeks and months. Should you be in London on Tuesday November 12th and free around 07.45am for a couple of hours – I’m facilitating a workshop called Art for Work’s Sake. Let me know if you’d like to come – there are a few places left.
For now though, I’ll finish where I started. Just for you, here’s a Love Song.