We live in a time in which innovative spirit and creative solutions are more in demand than ever. Here a new groundbreaking product, there the profitable service and last but not least the totally healthy lifestyle. We want to aim high and make a difference.
How is all this possible in a working and living environment that is subject to a strict set of rules?
In kindergarten we have to adhere to certain bedtimes, in school to predetermined subjects, in training or studies to predetermined learning content, and in the world of work to determined work concepts. Added to this is society’s expectations, which keep us in line by setting so-called “tractor goals” (study, secure job, marriage, buying a house, children, etc.). The whole thing is ultimately supported by advertising and the consumption that goes with it. Here, the questions of how we should behave, live and work are answered with a suitable product portfolio.
What’s the point?
Over the past few years, I have increasingly wondered where our personal responsibility has gone. We supposedly think we lead a self-determined, highly individual life, and yet we look around our living room at home and discover the same objects as on countless Instagram posts. We long for freedom and self-determination, but on Monday morning we are still punctually on the mat at 8:00 a.m. at the disagreeable employer or sit together in the first of countless video conferences.
With personal responsibility against the mainstream
My self-employment was like an “eye opener” for me.
But let me say one thing right away: I now work a lot more than before, have much less “vacation” and have become a multiple personality in my understanding of my role, doing the bookkeeping today, coaching tomorrow and developing a training concept the day after.
This path is painful and challenging, because I was not gently coaxed out of my comfort zone, but thrown into the deep end in a challenging way.
However, if there is something that I do not want to neglect here, it is the following thought:
Without pain and resistance, reflection and development do not occur. If every aspect of one’s life is filled with joy, why would one want to change and evolve as a result?
So if you want to change, don’t look for shortcuts, but walk straight through the valley of tears, because one thing, and I can now say this with certainty, is guaranteed to be waiting behind it: A time full of inspiration and insight.
Through this process, I have not only learned a lot about myself, I have acquired more skills in a short period of time than I had in the entire previous years. This fact ultimately led me to a basic idea: Our work culture is completely outdated.
Instead of trying out new work concepts, developing their own employees personally and integrating a sustainable value creation process, there seems to be only one credo in the world of work:
“We take individual people into our company as employees and then put them through the “management meat grinder” until we’ve formed something uniform out of the diverse and everyone is acting along the same lines.”
But how can we counteract such “wear and tear on human resources”?
Turning employees into stakeholders
The structures of the working world can only be brought about through sustainable changes in corporate culture. Involve your employees in important company decisions, for example via your company newsletter or via a dedicated app. Formulate your corporate vision together and implement projects and measures to live the new culture. If you wish, you can also go one step further and allow employees to participate in the company’s growth through shareholdings.
We need to create a pathway out of purely vocational qualification. We do not employ machines hired for pure self-interest. We expect the person on the other side of the desk to follow our company vision, so we also have to take responsibility for making sure that person feels supported in his/her own (professional/personal) vision. One unerring method is classic business coaching. Questions from the areas of “personal and professional development, management and leadership as well as conflict management and communication” are addressed individually.
Courage to swim against the tide
Who actually said that we need fixed working hours and locations? Why do we assign working titles instead of working roles that are individually expandable? Be bold and challenge existing concepts. A good support could be an individual training, which shows new ways through innovative creativity techniques. In this way, managers learn specifically how they can delegate better, communicate better and develop ideas within the team. Important: It should be an innovation training in which everything is discussed that is otherwise not taken into account in everyday work. In the later implementation, a combination of agile methodology, digital tools and methods from personal development should be used unerringly.
Are you ready for change?
You’ve grown up with the rules and regulations of the working world, but no one has said that you can’t leave the comfort zone and that the rules can’t be adjusted, questioned and discarded.
The question is: Do you have the courage to be not only an entrepreneur, but also a rebel?
About the author
Kinga Bartczak advises, coaches and writes on female empowerment, new work culture, organizational development, systemic coaching and personal branding. She is also the managing director of UnternehmerRebellen GmbH and publisher of the FemalExperts magazine .