In 2008 (just before the financial crisis), Jay Cross noted many dysfunctional workplace practices in a survey of 237 respondents worldwide. Is this still the state of the workplace?
- a lack of cooperation;
- no time for reflection;
- no ability to create DIY [do it yourself] tools for work;
- no communities of practice for support;
- lack of professional development;
- poor training; and
- working in organizations that are slow to change.
Does this resemble an organization you work for, or work with?
Michele Martin commented in 2008 that:
What strikes me is the fundamental sense of disempowerment in the workplace that suggests that people are essentially at the mercy of the companies they work for. While obviously there’s some truth to this, especially in an economic downturn, I still believe that people have far more control over these issues than they believe. One of my main goals in working with people on integrating social media and professional development is to point out how empowering it is to take control of your own learning by starting a blog and pursuing DIY professional development. If the will is there, the means certainly exist …
Unlike people in poverty, our power to move into another less dysfunctional system of work is still within our grasp, especially if we take a DIY approach to professional development. Systems, after all, are created by people, so we also need to be working on changing ourselves so that we’re in a better position to change the system. It’s not an either/or as much as an AND situation – change people AND change systems.
If these are still issues (and I see them in many organizations) then we need to remember that we are the solution to the problem. However, that situation may not last forever. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is today.