A setback to working life’s #humane change

I was wrong – the year of 2016 was not the year of working life’s and companies’ #humane change. Now everyone interested can let out a sigh of relief. Let’s forget all the vague slogans and big talk about soft leading and emotional leading. Let’s continue talking about the clear and predictable effect that digitalization and the influence of robots have on working life.

When I started preaching about the #humane change, many people nodded their head and wished me good luck. A bit similar to how big enterprises have their values, equality plans and social responsibility written down. Those are nice and valuable things that everyone sees as important on a principled level. When it comes to practical working life, however, those are quite distant things in everyday working culture.

Making this big #humane change did not succeed by vaguely changing the whole working life to be more humane at one fell swoop.

Instead, together with a hundred people, we learned, a little bit accidentally, that:

  1. A humane change is possible by taking responsibility of your own doings and by identifying your characteristic ways of operating. Only then you can consciously start changing the way you do things.
  2. After this you are able to accept your colleagues, superiors and customers with their own qualities and habits.
  3. Only then it is possible to make #humane changes on a company level, when the culture is ready for it.

After this there is no need to look for mistakes or someone to blame from other people or vaguely from the company.

A simple and familiar recipe. In practice, it is quite difficult if it is not encouraged or if the possibility isn’t given.

 

Let me rephrase that: It was not the time for the working life’s #humane change, yet

But for many people, the time of their own #humane change has begun. In the future of working life, there won’t be such a consistent concept as working life or big corporations to take care of individual employees’ willingness or unwillingness to change. Nor will there be mass coaching where an overpowering employee or customer experience is created. We must make the changes ourselves: by guiding, developing and leading ourselves, and, at best, by employing ourselves. This can be quite difficult alone as well if you don’t get support for it, at least in the beginning.

 

How did I come to this conclusion?

I learned this from our clients, who, as forerunners, wanted and dared to make small humane changes together. The progress happened along the way and the result was: happier employees and customers, and financial success.

I want to thank all those brave people with whom we’ve made small changes to working life during this past year. Sometimes really stumbling, cursing and laughing with tears in our eyes. I want to talk about small personal changes because, cliché or not – through them big changes are possible. The scale of the change, however, is defined by everyone themselves.

We’ve experienced the best moments when after a long silence or some thinking, I’ve seen the interlocutor’s eyes fill with courage, a brave spark—the willingness to take responsibility for themselves and their own doings. Admitting that these are my characteristic ways of doing and thinking. I call this humanity towards the self.

From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful for all the lessons learned and ideas, and the possibility to help push people forward.

The year of 2017 will therefore be the year of #humane self-leadership. At the end of next year, we’ll see how right or wrong I was.

If you are interested in hearing more about these solutions, please feel free to contact us.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year,

Mervi