Over the last year I have been focused on The Future of Work. This topic is fascinating to me and I have absolutely love it, the people I have met and interacted with, and the organizations I have worked with. The possibilities are HUGE!
But that’s part of the problem with the Future of Work: the topic is HUGE itself.
Take a look at a Google search on the Future of Work. When you dive into the results you find that this phrase refers to:
- Employee engagement
- Office layout
- Working from home
- Contracting vs. FTE
- …even outer space
And the list goes on. And while these are all great discussions around the Future of Work, I am not an expert in robots, or outer space, nor do I want to dive deep into working from home. Those subjects may come up, but they aren’t my main focus.
My expertise has always been more focused. This title has been a good catchall, but it is time to get more specific.
2015 is the year for more focus
My color-blindness is a gift. I believe that I was given this condition to slow me down. Had I been able to see colors normally I believe I would have gone into graphic design at an early age.
I feel like Ariel from the Little Mermaid: “I want to see what the people see…” But, alas, I can’t. And no sea witch will make it happen. (And if she did appear one day, I think I would be freaked out.)
Unfortunately, graphic (and other types 0f) design is out of the question. But because I do love it, it got me thinking…
After some deep thinking about where I have been, where I am going and what I love to do today, I learned some things about myself.
Self-Lesson #1: I am a designer at heart.
Although I can’t design with color, I love the creative process of designing, experimenting, testing, refining, pivoting, focusing on the end “user,” and creating solutions that excite everyone who use the design. The urge to make things better is in my blood. Not just incrementally better (although that works, too), but dramatically better.
Self-Lesson #2: I am a fan of human / organizational potential.
Not in a fake motivational type of way, but in a, “Do you really realize what you are capable of?!” way. Too many are stuck in the normalcy and mediocrity of life that they overlook the possibilities which will far surpass what they think they are capable of.
Self-Lesson #3: I am not a fan of the status quo.
As I have quoted before, “Safety’s just danger out of place.” We don’t question status quo enough. Sure, there is some comfort in normalicy. With my family of ten there MUST be. But there are times to disrupt and upend the day-to-day so that we can continue to progress. As Seth Godin said, “Art, though, requires both pride and disobedience. The pride of creation and the disobedience of disturbing the status quo” (The Icarus Deception).
Self-Lesson #4: I am at my best when helping others.
My wife and I wish we could serve people all day, every day. But realistically, you need some way to pay to raise eight children. And so I work. But my work is what I love to do. It is not only what I love, but also what I feel “called” to do.
Rather than focusing on the work part, when I focus on the serving aspect, everything else turns out and I do well financially. And I’m happier!
Q: Put those altogether and what do we have? A: What I have been focusing on all along without even realizing how to describe it. Now I can.
I help people love their work by designing employee engagement.
I help people love their work. And when they love their work, they are SO MUCH MORE productive! Employees are happier and more productive and the company is more successful. So I also help organizations design employee engagement strategies so their employees will love their work.
And it really is design. Using design thinking and practices from IDEO and IBM, combined with ethnography, Human Performance Technology methodologies, and some of my own tools I have created like PING (coming soon), Adoption Index, The Change Agent Handbook, and more, I design environments where people are fully engaged in their work. When that happens, the potential of each person can shine and the organization is in a place to take off.
That is what I do. That is what I love. That is who I authentically am.
More importantly, that’s how I help others. Employee Engagement with a design perspective and methodology.