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Why is Everybody Talking About Ways of Working?

Accelerating Hype

Ways of Working is accelerating along the hype curve.  Barely a day goes by without an article or feature in the main sources relating to some aspect of Ways of Working. 

The number of related buzzwords continues to expand and now includes such fashionable labels as:

  • Hybrid Working
  • Quiet Quitting
  • The Great Resignation
  • Performance Theatre
  • Performance Paranoia

At the root of all these catchy labels is the much bigger issue – Ways of Working.  Specifically, post pandemic Ways of Working.

With Hype Comes Cynicism

All this attention around Ways of Working is both a good thing and a bad thing:

  • On the positive side it means that attention is being drawn to an important issue that is often neglected – an issue that could represent a significant performance loss or gain for most organizations. 
  • On the negative side, managers have learned to be weary of too much hype. They may well be thinking that Ways of Working is yet another management fad.

 

Why should I care about ways of working? Asked the senior vice president.  ‘I’m not sure if you should’ replied the coach—conscious of the cynicism surrounding buzzwords such as ways of working. ‘I think the real question is: ‘What level of efficiency is your team operating at today? Is it as high as it could or should be? Whether you should attend to Ways of Working depends on the answer to that question’ she continued.

Making It Actionable & Real

You might like to think of Ways of working as the topics and trends at a macro level.  These are the factors talked about by the top brass in your organization and regularly appearing in your news feed.  Such ‘ways of working’ trends include hybrid working, quite quitting and the drive for increased productivity. But, what exactly does all that mean for you and your team?  What are the implications for the way you / we work? 

Aspirational statements and broad sweeping trends are one thing, they reflect what others feel is important.  However, what matters most is that each team defines how it works – rather than ways of working in abstract it is a team’s decisions regarding the ‘Way We Work‘ (as a team). In doing so the team taps into their, vast but largely untapped, self-organizing and self-optimizing potential.

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