Environment – an imperative at work

The famous quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” notwithstanding, the “environment” in most organizations is a neglected area. Just as we don’t heed the messages about “global warming”, we care little about the “talent warming” in our firms.

The easy answer everyone in the corporate world, hopes will come true is “Gen Y and the multi-generation workforce” is at the root of all our problems. They aren’t. Just as every generation is to blame for the plastic mountains, the dead landfills, the filthy rivers and the polar ice caps melting, so it is at work. And the responsibility of every generation is to leave a beautiful world behind for their children. Gen Y is inheriting a troubled business world.

Just watch what our generation and a couple of them before us have done – we have inelastic inflexible hierarchies in the East and a directive environment in the West. We smother creativity with landfills of conformity. The rivers (processes) are filthy because every generation has put in their stamp and has stayed around long enough to not let new water flow. I am all for retention and long tenures as long as the person doesn’t repeat every day – remember to check if the person has ten years of experience or one year repeated ten times :):):). The polar ice caps are melting at work too. The Gen Y has scant respect for rank and rightfully so.. Step off the throne, get mentored by the folks who are going to inherit the throne. Remember, the CEOs, the managers, the leaders are all of yesterday, tomorrow belongs to the new hire. So get reverse mentored and create the workplace of choice for the new generation. Well if you don’t, they will anyway.

The new generation is here and the older generations need to stand aside and facilitate the new ideas. There is value for history, to prevent making the same mistakes, but clinging onto the same ways of doing things will not yield results in the new world. I read recently that “happiness is the new productivity”. This was coined by this company called “www.mindvalley.com”. They have some amazing people practices that many of us can learn from. I loved the concept that happiness is the new productivity, just like the King of Bhutan measured the happiness index. Exciting new thoughts !

The only thing that we do better at the workplace than with the Earth, is recycle. To borrow my friend Raghavan’s words – we are adept at recycling old ideas and in the process we kill new ones. The managers and leaders need to start recycling goods but stop recycling ideas !! Let new ideas sprout and the new species of plants take root. The “office” and the work environment as we know needs to die and a new way of working and new thoughts need to take root.

Happy world environment day – renew, refresh and re-energise the workplace. Make the environment a happy one.

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