How does your boss influence how you work? A short list of questions to get you started:
So clearly it's a question of how, not if.
The more interesting question, then, is "Why?"
Of course, it isn't only our boss who influences how we work.
So do our colleagues.
And the employees who call us the boss.
And the projects we work on—is it urgent?, is it political?, is it high profile?, have the stakeholders bought in?
And the (increasingly just software) tools available for use (has Zoom changed how you work? Slack? Epic? You get the idea.).
And our assumptions and beliefs—often learned long ago, ingrained into our very being, and unchallenged until now—about human behavior at work.
And then, perhaps most importantly, the management systems (I don't mean software, but thanks to software it's becoming easier to visualize them) in your organization. To name a few from a very long list: the budget, strategy planning, goal setting, performance reviews, compensation, bonus programs, project approvals, project monitoring, policies, procedures, committees, meetings ... all together, all of the processes, formal and informal, written and unwritten, (needed and unneeded), your organization uses to ensure it delivers its services.
(It's a lot, I know. We're almost there.)
All of the above (and that's not everything) combines to create ... a system.
This system is what we recognize as the organization we work for. (We can also replace the word organization with: department, team, division, project team, etc. ... because, guess what, systems are everywhere. They are inescapable.)
Here, finally, is why all of this is so hugely important. We must understand the system we work in if we're interested in making real change happen. There's a perfect Deming quote, as there often is when discussing systems, that establishes the point: "Each system is perfectly designed to give you exactly what you are getting today."
Want it to be different? The change you're seeking to make must happen in the system(s). Do it there. That's where your influence is needed.
Ideas and inspiration on The Now of Work to fuel your thinking, learning, and creating. Get inspired.
Being organized is the foundation of a creative practice and creativity. Here are a series of guides to help you get organized at work. Get organized.
Talented people have worked on similar problems to the problems we're now solving. Thankfully for us they've shared what they've learned. So let's learn from them.
Your current role can be viewed as a platform to get better at the work you do and how you do the work. Your professional development is a you activity. Make it work for you.
Why we work the way we work is important to understand ... so we can create something better. Here's what's happening.