90% of my meetings with clients are in third places chosen by my them, usually cafes, restaurants, libraries or community hubs. We often connect with other people of like heart and mind while we're meeting which is good for both of us.
This week build more of a home wherever you belong.
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the story present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our situation is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves if we are to save our country.
--- Abraham Lincoln, December 1862
Dogma is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
--- Steve Jobs
Remarkable people have ditched dogma and instead lead by example.
When I Google the meaning of dogma I get “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.”
Dogma is trouble wherever you find it. It's where what someone in authority says is more important than the original sound principle on which the dogma is based.
We see this in religion of course where a good principle articulated by Buddha as below for example is overruled by dogma (and therefore behaviour) making a lie of the good principle.
“All spirituality is about relieving suffering.” Buddha
Dogma being what we follow and how we behave, rather than living by the good principle on which the dogma is based in our own best way, is true in most places including your workplace.
Steve Jobs got it right I reckon:
The great spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi articulated what I think is a principle highly relevant in all of life. He said
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
One of the key questions I ask my clients is "How can you better be the change you want to see in your workplace?" Honest answers lead to ditching dogma and leading by example.
According to Wikepdia The verb manage comes from the Italian maneggiare (to handle — especially tools), which in turn derives from the Latin manus (hand). The French word mesnagement (later ménagement) influenced the development in meaning of the English word management in the 17th and 18th centuries.
How did we go from the above to trying to manage people? Good question. I don’t know! My best guess is industrial revolution thinking and believing people can be treated like machines! In the 21st century we can lead people but not manage them. Some very wise people were onto this last century! You manage things; you lead people. Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper One does not manage people. The task is to lead people. Peter Drucker I meet many so called leaders who still feel the need to plan, organize, direct and control (manage) their
people. A better path to success to travel is to inspire and influence (leadership), have agreed boundaries, co-
create great systems and processes (management), and let people loose. My own definitions of leadership and management are contained in the model below that I use as the basis for all of my work. A key is understanding that both leadership and management struggle unless they are underpinned by culture.
Get your leadership, management and culture right for you. It changes everything for the better in your organisation.
Leadership is fundamentally about people. Management is fundamentally about systems and processes that are
good for people in bringing their best to their work. Culture has everything to do with being human. Be remarkable. Ian
As a general rule there is a reluctance to have conversations about performance particularly when there is conflict, disagreement and/or difficulty.
“Managers Lack Courage to Have Difficult Performance Discussions” so said 63% of 750 respondents World atWork/Sibson 2010 Study on The State of Performance Management.
The same study says “58% of organizations rated their performance management systems as “C Grade or below.”
“Is there any organizational practice more broken than performance management? asks Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith in an article for Forbes 16/12/12. She goes on to say:
“everyone hates it – employees and managers alike nobody does it well – it’s a skill that seemingly fails to be acquired despite exhaustive training efforts, and it fails the test of construct validity – it doesn’t do what it was designed to do, i.e. increase performance Traditional performance management programs have become organization wallpaper. They exist in the background with little or no expectations for impact. Yet despite its poor popularity, the concept of performance (at an individual and organizational level) is critical to business success. It can’t just be ignored.” Of course in recent times many organisations have moved away from performance management. Here's just one article of many on the subject.
The 19 really useful techniques for making difficult conversations history ebook provides immediately doable ways to leave performance management where it belongs, in the past, and inspire a step-up to performance leadership where candour, conviviality and compassion live.
In the “Human Age” we are embracing, not having conversations about performance, especially when they are difficult is a fast track to seeing your business disappear. Embrace the 19 techniques and you will begin the journey to building a workplace where people really matter. Performance improvement will follow.