Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Nine-to-Five folk

I have been working as a change agent now for a while and one question that I pump into from time to time is: "How about the non-motivated part of our people?". The curious thing is, that most of these people were enthusiastic students. The working life is the one that has killed the passion.
Cubicles in a now-defunct co-working space in Portland, Oregon. CubeSpace 2009-05-20 20:30 By Asa Wilson
So why is that? In a natural way, people are organising themselves into a dynamic network. I wrote a blog post about this. Workplaces are forcing people to form unnatural constructions and the agony which is caused by this is the one which starts to eat the motivation of people.

As long as we are not going to fix this, we are only dealing with symptoms. By fixing symptoms nothing magnificent will happen.

ps. With the Nine-to-Five, I mean second definition from here:

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Hierarchies are oversimplifying complex things

After I started working as a Scrum Master back in my times. I felt, that there is something really dysfunctional about our workplaces. Still I was not able to put my finger on it. There was an excellent talk by Kati Saarikivi about Work as learning, meaning and interconnectedness in my previous company where I worked. In the talk there was something mind blowing and it has been puzzling me ever since.

Here comes the idea in brief:

By nature, people are creating human networks dynamically. Pretty much same way as neurons are working in brains. In other words we (group of people) organise ourselves automatically to correspond to the changing environment.

During that time, I was working as an Agile Coach and of course I started to think, how this idea reflects to companies which I have been working with. If you have ever worked in corporate, you know that organisation change is something which is constant... every year.

So this was my first tought out of it.
Workplaces nowadays does not really support this natural way of forming. If we think about all the "fun" stuff, what is happening, like policies, rules, hierarchies and matrix organisations. I came to this one.
and this one.

But I was not quite happy yet. What is the reason, why is it like this? The final piece came from Duarte Vasco, he tweeted like this.

We are trying to make sense to these complex things. How to do it? We try to categorise things. Introduce different kind of boxes with different functions. Oversimplify things with the hierarchies and matrix organisations.

So what should we do? A change in paradigm is required which makes it hard. We should embrace the environment which nurtures adaptive social networks.We should not create any artificial borders or roles. And we should not be bothered about the fact that the situation changes all the time. And above all, enjoy working together!

And how this reflects thing like Agile methods and frameworks? Kids, that's an another story. :)