Finding Humans in the Workplace
I spent five years building and cultivating a global community of obsessive do-gooders, people and companies that fought tooth and nail to build a better world. This experience simultaneously kicked me in the balls, gave me utmost joy, reduced me to tears, boiled my temper, and had me cheering maniacally. Only human beings can ride me through this kind of shit storm.
Through this stretch, I gained clarity on why I was drawn to everything I participated in since the second grade (I could count preschool antics, but who really remembers preschool?): Martial arts, boy scouts, student council, symphony, speech & debate, societies, clubs, sports, and all the internships and jobs that came along — I suck at calculus and chemistry, but I eagerly navigate and immerse myself in communities of humans.
I love people — I love the art, science, philosophy, practicality, complexity. This passion encompasses my identity and craft, which has formed into Culture & Community Architecture. And through this identity and craft, I have become keen with one particular activity people spend half their lives.
Currently in the US, humans spend an average of 47 hours at work each week. In San Francisco the figure exceeds 50+ hours. People spend 46–50% of their time awake in work related environments. Although our parents refer to this segment as ‘professional’ life, this industrial revolution-era mindset needs to reshape itself to something natural.
Imagine the possibilities of what humans can collectively do if everybody viewed their lives holistically; the positive influence they exercise while not working, also exercised during the time they are working; the same social energy and personable ingenuity they express with their friends, also expressed with office peers. I believe that different objectives and settings require different actions and awareness, but the human behind these don’t change. Why the hell should they change? Why spend our lives carefully separating ourselves in half, when we can spend it optimizing our whole self, and consequentially optimizing everything else? Why isn’t this mindset the standard cultural framework at all workplaces?
This pumps me up for the next part of my journey — to serve all kinds of teams, in all types of situations. I want to help them integrate the human elements often ignored in culture; from how people speak with customers, to how team members influence one another. I also want to explore beyond a company’s walls. How can a team through people power evolve a more impactful mission? How can I extend a company’s positive reach deeper into the immediate communities they affect? After laying these foundations, imagine how these companies will begin to positively transform the rest of the world.
Leaders like Tony Hsieh and Eric Reis stress defining culture from day one. Very real ramifications have crippled companies for failing to do so. Those who take culture seriously from the start not only become happier internally, they hit better success metrics with customers, achieve more sustainable revenue streams, and practically eliminate the need for the firefighting components of HR. After five “professional” years of absorbing real world examples of thousands of teams from around the world, from disastrous failures, to phenomenal wins, I’m ready to serve teams in accomplishing their goals by optimizing the individual humans involved.
(All my writing reposted from my site, www.mymiddlenameischad.com)