Do we want to talk about a desired future? Or work toward creating that future?
I completed my doctorate in leadership & organizational change almost 20 years ago and still have many boxes of articles I copied in support of those studies. In looking through some of these articles recently, I was struck by how similar many of them are to what is written today about the type of organization we need for our rapidly evolving world. Think about that - having a vision that remains just outside our reach for 20 years.
In many ways Corporate Rebels reminds me of “The cluetrain manifesto” (Weinberger, 2000), now 20 years ago. I fully support the “8 Trends” but also see a number of issues that will arise when making the transition – moving the concepts into practice. Similarly, Hamel & Zanini lay out a great vision in the first part of “Humanocracy” that then gets disjointed in how to move that vision to reality. This is not to say that there are not places where this desired vision is not lived today. However, an examination of those organizations usually reveals a foundation established early in the organization’s life or a cultural transformation led by a visionary leader who had a long tenure. Missing is how to transform mature organizations from within which is true rebel work. Over the years, I have seen many “corporate rebels” initiatives that start with rapid and enthusiastic growth as everyone discusses how great it would be to live in that desired future state. However, interest starts to wane as discussions begin to repeat with the arrival of new converts. Sometimes, I will loop back a year or two later only to find the same discussions for the desired vision repeating.
As you might guess, I am testing the water here to see if the interest is focused on the future or what we can do today to bring about a desired future tomorrow.
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How are work outcomes affected by the treatment of those who do it? I have been exploring this question for ~50 years. In that time, one comment stuck with me more than any other. It was made in 1998 when I interviewed a group of men in Indianapolis who had redesigned most of the US city’s waste collection and disposal operations. “We are no longer expected to park our brains at the door when we come to work.”
Today, we're launching the official Corporate Rebels webshop—the perfect place to order our books and merchandise. So join the workplace revolution, make a statement for better work, and look cooler than you ever have before. Oh, and you’ll also support a charity while you're at it. What's not to like?