“Don’t forget that we have dreams too” – Aldo
When the bob cat driver, Aldo said this in the third Red Blue simulation exercise we knew we were in for a great ride; certainly on the road less travelled. But now perhaps a road that can be travelled by many.
We have been actively engaged in the collaborative workplace space for over 20 years. It would be fair to say it has been the red thread through our working life. For me, it started in 1987 with despair and a question: “This can’t be the best we can be, can it?” I was sitting in the client’s site office, managing the transport for Lysaght Building Industries [BHP Building Products] while employed by Mayne Nickless Ltd. Tension and conflict was a daily reality for the struggling third party logistics contract. I wondered about a soulful workplace? Could this ever exist or does it fly in the face of profit driven private sector activity?
That red thread grew over the years and in 2003 I was introduced to the simulation Red Blue. It is an exercise about how adversarial working relationships develop and goes some way to articulating how to build sustainable collaborative relationships.
Unlike the principals and the supervisors of this collaborative design and construction team, the labourers were able to see the bigger picture and had success in the simulation where the two previous groups had failed. When asked why, Aldo, the bobcat driver, said, “You managers have forgotten that we have dreams too”. It was very matter of fact and then he concluded by saying, “You know that we all end up in a box, don’t you”.
If we take just a bit of time out to think about the big picture we can include everyone in organisational life. Yes, of course everyone has dreams. We need to create an organisational system that embraces this idea; where we can link the organisational ‘why’ [vision or leading image] to the personal. When people connect their own life purpose with that of an organisation’s, great things flow. We nurture that connection and then take it into creating a workplace that enables stated strategic outcomes.
Many organisations are just focused on money. This can never motivate and lead to greatness. There is always something else under the money motive. For this reason the typical organisational model enervates; takes energy away, it demotivates and demoralises. It treats people like resources that are there to be used up. When used, they’re discarded.
When we embrace everyone, by remembering everyone has dreams, we create an energising organisation. An organisation that is both good for business and good for people, where the strategic intent motivates people to be at their best. An organisation that is productive, successful, fair and ethical. An Organisation of the Future.
– Stephen Hanman