I’m working on a new book project, “The Way Work OUGHT to Be”. The title covers a lot of potential ground, because I suppose, in an ideal world, there’s a whole heck of a lot of ways that work could be.
So I’m always interested in hearing people’s responses when I ask the seemingly simple question, “In an ideal universe, what would work be like?’ Recognizing of course, that to be successful at anything means working hard. Or at least, working smart.
In my audiences, when I’ve posed this question, people usually begin with the outlandish, unrealistic ideas.
Work should have a Jacuzzi!
Free beer at lunch!
Two-hour work days!
And eventually, we get to the stuff that’s perhaps a little more, how could I put it, “boss-friendly”.
But what I am interested in isn’t so much the small perks people often think of when this question arises, but the long term, meaningful, substantive ways in which our workplaces function and the values centered around those workplaces.
Sure, work can be hard. Work can be a pain in the ass. There are things we all hate about our jobs and our workplaces. We’re always going to have stress at work. I mean seriously, the only way to get rid of stress in your life is through death. Not my preferred career path, and hopefully not yours!
But shouldn’t we aim to create workplaces that, well, actually work?
Workplaces that inspire people and give people a true sense of purpose.
Workplaces that help people reach their full potential.
Workplaces that are creative, passionate and FUN!
Workplaces that truly put people first and treat people with respect and dignity.
Workplaces that truly value open and honest communication.
Workplaces that value ideas.
Workplaces where people are proud to work at and stand behind them in an insanely passionate way.
Workplaces that contribute to a better community and a better planet.
Now really, is that asking too much?
Would love to hear from you – what does your ideal workplace look like?
Michael Kerr, Humor at Work, June 2011, www.mikekerr.com
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Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
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Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics