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People That Make No Difference at Work

If you look at LinkedIn's top five most appearing skills in advertisements you notice that creativity has been there in the past few years now, yet, organisations are as boring as ever. Apart from a few brave and creative ones we see the same processes and systems over and over again.

A friend, a Head of HR was telling me that when she was interviewing for a job a couple of years ago she said "I am not the one who handles employee engagement with ice cream or parties." The senior leader who interviewed her looked at her and she knew she won't get the job.

Why is it that we want to continue the same old boring things which we know don't work whether it is in HR or other departments? I know it is safe and predictable but do we really prioritise comfort ahead of moving forward? Do we really choose the pain of doing things that don't work over the pain of change and see how we could do things differently?

There is a massive disconnect between what is being said and done. Everyone in organisations from top to bottom is crying out for change, yet, everything has been the same in the past 20 years. We don't want change, we just want to complain. I met a senior leader who doesn't want to digitalise the sales process as he has been doing it without in the past 30 years. Imagine that! Instead, he complains about sales and wants to hire more salespeople. Madness!

Three weeks ago I had a meeting with a potential client who needs to implement a complete performance management system as they have nothing for their 300 people. I was like ok, 300 people is a piece of cake and I asked the two founders 'Would you be interested in something modern?" We had a good chat about possibilities but eventually, they reverted to the same old boring competency framework, annual appraisal etc.

Sometimes we find the excuse "It is not the leaders but the people above them who want it this way and we don't have the power to make that decision." These two had the power as they owned the company, yet, chose the existing blueprint.

We advertise and look for creative people and the moment they show up we are scared so we either don't hire them or suppress their creativity and put them in line with the rest of the bunch.

Hire crazy people who you don't know what to do with. They are the ones who will make a change, not the ones who parrot what everyone else is saying. People who change the game are always the ones we don't know what to do with.

The corporate world is made up of people who copy-paste each other's methods because they are scared to be different or just lack creativity. They are scared so they look for something they can blame on others. They are scared because they are not financially stable enough to say no. They are scared because their ego wouldn't handle it if they were wrong. And they are boring because they have not been thinking in the past ten years.

Yes, that's right. If your view on things is the same as ten years ago therefore you keep doing the same thing you haven't been thinking much. You just have been rearranging your existing beliefs which is not thinking.

So ask yourself the question today when you go to work; What is the one thing I changed my mind about in the past five years related to my work and what have I done to change that?

If you need ideas on what to change you may start by looking at how you can provide feedback that motivates and change your culture. Why? Because people are fed up with the existing view and process of receiving feedback at work.

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