Friday, February 22, 2013

Let's break our dependence on being told what to do

The 20th century model of work was one of hierarchy, one where your superiors you told you what to do.

Many people are still stuck in this mindset. It's easy to do. When you're not being told what to do you feel uncomfortable and unsure what to do. I've fallen into this at times in the past too.

The problem is, if you are dependant on being told what to do, you become less creative, adaptable and resilient. If you find yourself in an uncertain situation, you're more likely to fall back on things you've done in the past rather than looking for something new.

Right now, the future of work is uncertain. We're currently going through a time of rapid technological innovation. Organisations are able to do more with less people. Companies that don't innovate are going out of business as new ones disrupt legacy business models. This amongst other things, is causing unemployment to rise. Hundreds of people are competing for a handful of jobs.

As existing jobs are automated we're going to need to find new problems to solve, which means people to be able to think for themselves.

I believe that we should create organisations that have a culture of innovation, where all employees can use their own creativity and ingenuity to solve problems. Not only will this help companies become more adaptable and resilient, but by doing this we can help people break the dependency on being told what to do. This in turn, will help them find their own ideas to tackle and ways to thrive in this uncertain future.

1 comment:

  1. Ah... I once had a business coach tell me that one of the problems with some of my own plans was who I was listening to. One action is to take a careful and grounded inventory of your competences and "incompetences". Another is to refine a powerful distinction between being "told what to do" and receiving - even seeking and asking for - guidance, coaching and help where I may not have the competence to act effectively.

    As I have heard in conversations about various process or design diagrams - it's all in the direction of the arrow.