Change maker in the enterprise, take a look back at early 2017. You were hopeful for a fresh start, an acceleration, more people to join the change movement, a work culture that evolves to really support innovation and diversity, a recognition of your efforts as being important to the organization. Did the hopes you had twelve months ago materialize? The answer is probably a mix of yes and no.
Yes, there is a growing appetite for people-centric organizations, for “soft” skills, for knowledge that helps understand how to tap into collective intelligence and thrive in complexity. There is a growing number of individual workers who connect on internal social networks and explore those themes. Communities in the workplace contribute to changing relationships, information flows and collective identity — the level where real change takes place in a living system, as Myron Rogers says.
Despite all this, your organization has probably not changed so much. Especially for large companies, 12 months is pretty short. Changing work and org culture remains tedious, frustrating at times. So much gets in the way! Short-term priorities, project-managed everything, control mindset, lack of critical thinking at all levels and ingrained patterns of domination are just a few. The change that individuals experience just doesn’t seem to become systemic. Disturbingly, it is sometimes the very same people who advocate for change that strengthen the status quo.
So, what’s up for 2018? More of the same?
I believe that courage can make the difference. Courage is not (just) some foreign virtue possessed by a few heroes. Assertiveness and force are not courage. Changing our workplace culture definitely requires courage. Fueled by new ideas, books and experiences such as the first Courage Camp organized in the USA in 2017, a trend is emerging around the courage value, trying to understand where is comes from and how to grow it. Let’s experiment this further in the year to come, for a larger, concrete impact on the way organizations work.
Every new year offers the exhilarating possibility of a fresh beginning. 2018 can be significantly better, not just a mere sequel to 2017, if more of us become more courageous.