Last year at this time, none of us imagined how much change we would experience in work in 2020? To get a handle on it, I invite you write a personal 6-word story to capture your work experiences in the first half of 2020.
We may achieve a certain sense of comprehension or control over our experience when we transform experience into story. It may offer us a new perspective or a simple structure for a deeper more salient understanding of what has been going through. Creativity thrives with constraints and the constraint of capturing your work over 5 months with 6 words if a definite constraint.
We have been asking registrants of our June 11th Poppulo webinar on learn, adapt, and transform to write their 6-word story after registering. Here are 2 examples:
- Thought I might catch up; baloney.
- We can rise to the challenge.
And here is my 6-word story: Almost retired, pandemic pandemonium – I’m needed.”
In 2009 I asked members of the Employee Experience & Engagement Network to compose a six-word story of engagement. We turned it into a small book. I offer you this e-book as inspiration for you to write your own story of 2020. http://www.davidzinger.com/wp-content/uploads/Employee-Engagement-Six-Word-ebook.pdf
So, what is your six-word story?
I invite you to join me this Thursday June 11th for the webinar: Learn, Adapt, & Transform for the New Work Reality: https://bit.ly/35W3MlJ
James Lawson-Miln, the head of internal communication for Poppulo, and I will offer a framework for responding to our challenges in learning, adapting, and transforming in a webinar June 11th at 11am EDT. Attend the webinar and stay for further conversation after the hour as we equip ourselves and our organizations to make the second half of 2020 a time of robust rebuilding. Register Now.
Below is some background on what we will be discussing.
COVID-19 has created a seismic shift in the way we work. Engagement has been shaken up while the employee experience continues to somersault. Some organizations have collapsed while others have expanded rapidly to meet unanticipated needs.
We have shifted where we work, how we work, and our views of the future of work. Hoards of us are working from home, multitudes are furloughed or laid off, while others are working long hours, risking their lives, and sometimes receiving danger pay as a gesture of support. The boundaries between work and the rest of life are eroding as parents and children wrestle for Wi-Fi bandwidth to complete work and school while sitting at the kitchen table.
How will we and our companies restructure our relationship with work going forward as the ground rumbles underneath our feet?
Learning requires reflection and anticipation. What have you learned about work and what will you and others in your organization need to learn to sustain your organization and enliven your work experience? A great Canadian thinker, Marshall McLuhan, said in the future we will learn a living more than earn a living. That future is now.
When things were business as usual we could adapt to work by assimilating new experiences into our existing understanding of work. But COVID-19 has created massive disequilibrium asking us to create new internal and external structures to adapt to change. In what specific ways have you mentally and socially adapted to the changing landscape of work?
Although we must be cautious in declaring silver linings or touting anemic positive thinking it is a marvel to see how individuals and organizations can transform. Many of us have been wounded by work yet as the poet and writer Robert Bly stated, “our wounds transformed can become our gifts to our community.” When you look at the journey of moving through COVID-19 are you enduring, managing, mastering, or transforming your experience and your organization?
I believe engagement needs to transform from employee engagement to work engagement. This signals a shift from focusing on completing surveys and liking the organization or feeling good about where we work to performing good work in a sustainable way, every day. Engagement must become relevant, meaningful, and authentic.
Learning. I think we are too eager, busy, or naive to test learning through our own experience. We want a best case example and then imitate it or install it as plug and play into our organization. We readily hire outside consultants to tell us what to do and fall in love with their PowerPoint presentations and compelling analytics. I think this is true for the fields of employee experience and employee engagement.
I think we need to treat more of what others tell us are solutions as hypotheses. Use more test than trust and more experimentation than expertise.
Here is a short quotation from a little book that encourages us to learn from experience and experience our learning:
“The point is that whatever one is trying to learn, it is necessary to have firsthand experience, rather than learning from books or from teachers or by merely conforming to an already established pattern.” – Chögyam Trungpa
Going Through the Grind and Coming Out with Purpose. I was sipping on a hot cup of Kicking Horse Pacific Pipeline coffee when a tiny lesson this size of a coffee bean began to percolate in my brain about potential, purpose, and the grind.
“Coffee beans are full of potential. But their true purpose is fulfilled only after they have gone through a grind.”
The coffee bean lesson offered me a tiny nudge through the grind we are all going through these days and the possibility of it releasing more of my potential.