We’re all flawed human beings. People are hard to work with. Businesses are dysfunctional. There… now we’ve got that out of the way we can move on.
Personally I would like to thank everyone for being like that. If you didn’t have flaws, have problems with your co-workers and work for a business that doesn’t know how it should be I would be out of a job.
That being said, the world is full of consultants and people who have personality tests and patented solutions to your business’ problems that Will Make Everything Better™. Lord knows, we could be one of them.
But we’re not. If anything we are more like a doctor dealing with a patient with a long-term condition. We can help you with some of the symptoms. We might even be able to cure a few aspects of your disease but the fact remains – you’re a flawed being working with other flawed beings in an artificial environment that was created by - you guessed it - flawed human beings.
This looks like I have just described why you shouldn’t choose to work with us. It’s not. We’re just being honest… and, I don’t know about you, but I prefer to work with people who are honest rather than people who have blind faith in whatever snake oil they are peddling to cure your ills.
So now I’ve established that we can’t cure you and your organisation, what can we do to help you?
Well, what we would like to assist you with is understanding your place in a virtuous circle. As with most things, it starts with you.
The first part of the system we like to work on when we work with a business is the individual. We can’t fix people who are broken, or paranoid or anxious or who doubt themselves, but we can offer some insight and some exercises that help you to manage yourself, grow yourself and develop your innate skills so you can be a better member of…
Your team. If people can all individually be their best selves they will work better together and communicate and collaborate more in service of…
The business. A better, more open, collaborative team will drive growth and performance while organically creating a positive culture and a good place to work.
So that’s one way of going round the circle, but The Way That Can Be Taught is not The Eternal Way. There are other ways to approach it.
If you start with your business, it has to know where it’s going, what its purpose is, and it has to make a commitment to being transparent and honest. Part of that journey is a full understanding that “a business” does not exist – it is a conglomeration of interconnected teams that have their own needs, functions, roles, challenges, pressures, conflicts, and are, in turn, made up of individuals - who must be recognised as such, with their own skills, needs, wants, ideas of progression, job satisfaction, purpose, etc.
The challenge, which is a bit like patting your head while rubbing your tummy is ensuring that you are moving both ways around the circle at the same time.
And that’s the space that we like to play in. No models. No “processes”. Just a chance to recognise the value of individual contributions, the importance of autonomy and the opportunity to challenge structures that are not working as well as they should.
Colour; Noun (Vicky Holding and Howard Karloff)