In some organizations, daily life and the day to day meetings feel like a Permanent Focus Group. People spend their time advising each other on what should be done, could be done, ought to be done or somebody needs to know, or tell somebody who, quite frankly, ought to do something.
Punctuated by the recurrent noise of the coffee machine, advice and opinion flow from corner to corner, never quite settling in, perhaps in the quest for some owners and doers in the next meeting room.
In my terminology of Viral Change, in this situation, Advocacy is high, Activism is low. The beauty of the word activism is that it has an ACT inside. Actually, act. Not pretending.
We have glorified the Advocate and the Ambassador too much. I want less ambassadors (who after all don’t represent themselves) and more activists. Less advocates, who advocate and go, and more activists as well.
What I am describing is very different from the company that runs on good conversation flow, good and healthy informal organization, fluid pipes full of meaningful shared insights.
Conversational flow is needed. It is the oxygen of the organization. The healthy company has plenty of oxygen but also a quest for the (re) solution. It’s not a 24/7 Focus Group.
I think we talk too much.
Wait a minute. I am doing it!
CULTURE IS THE NEW WORKPLACE!
If you want to have a conversation about the future of work, don’t start with hybrid vs. non-hybrid, flexible vs. non-flexible, work from home vs. work from anywhere.
It’s the wrong start!
The real conversation is about the culture you want or need. Company culture is the petri dish where everything grows. The culture has workplaces. Focus on culture. This is the real driver. This is the true conversation.