What If It’s No Longer About Solving Problems?
Solving problems is not our way forward. Understanding needs and transforming problems into possibilities is a path that has been waiting for us, around the bend. And it’s time to consider connecting with it.
We can feel down because life is not going according to plan but emotions are part of life and it’s time to be human, especially when it comes to how we make a living because we are not machines.
Imagine that leaders of organizations lived their mission and values, and in doing so, were clear on why they exist. This would go a long way, as would hiring the best people for roles to meet the business needs. Wouldn’t it be amazing if people were crystal clear on what is expected of them while receiving ongoing guidance, communication and tools to be successful in their jobs?
And most importantly, trusting in the hiring choices so much that management gets out of people’s way. Because when people thrive, everyone does. That is the bottom line.
Time to Let Go of Problem Solving?
The Industrial Era, and the introduction of the lightbulb, birthed factories where we were expected to be increasingly efficient by working in shifts and becoming machines of productivity. And this structure also brought forth what we now know as our health system, school system, legal system and financial system. Solving problems became the mantra.
There were assembly lines everywhere whose purpose was to produce optimized efficiency and growth. And remember, we created these systems. This is how powerful we are. Taxes are manmade while life and death are natural systems. Preparing children for jobs from an early age is an expectation we created and inherited.
It is not surprising that these systems are crumbling right now. And this is why we face an incredible opportunity when we stop only focusing on the problems. Solving problems keep us trapped in the machine.
Organizations were designed to be machines where people and processes (wheels and cogs) produce efficiency, productivity and growth. It was an engineered machine that needed to be constantly fed and greased. When the machine broke down, some of the parts (people) were disposed and replaced. To be efficient, work created misery for many who have been suffering from burnout, which in 2019 was classified as a health issue.
Within each one of these machines, there are values, principles, and rituals that are expected to be adopted. Culture defines the rules of engagement of how people are supposed to behave. Much goes into recruiting the right people who would fit into the existing culture. Isn’t it a bit unnatural not to see culture as a living system that changes and adapts as it grows and transforms? Isn’t fitting in part of the dying story?
What organizations need today is a workforce of conscious leaders; not followers. People who take initiative to know what’s going on and understand how to build thriving communities. In this reality, there are no silos or structures that confine communication and connection.
The emerging leaders are ones who build relationships and trust with ease and determination to see opportunities to connect people inside and outside the organizational walls; based on delivering on an organization’s promise.
For work to be human, the focus is on people and dynamics. To make things happen, an ability to listen and understand people’s needs is key. There are some people who are able to see connections others can’t see. And it takes people who ask questions and become aware of people’s challenges and opportunities. This is where authenticity and vulnerability come into play because there is a genuine interest and curiosity in how to bridge these together and create value.
Isn’t it time to usher in the Human Era?