Thoughts for your consideration….
Leadership or management….. and the issue of Work from WHERE?
Office or Home… is that the real question? Where to work, is important. Why work is MORE important. Let’s tackle all aspects of this. From my perspective and in MY opinion, of course.
In this perspective, leadership is vital. So what is the difference between the two styles of guiding people? Lots of specifics can be called out that make a difference in whether you are working for, or functioning as, a leader or a manager. Isolating one of them for this point of comparison may not be perfect, but will be practical.
Here is a view that is personal, may not be shared, and that is OK. Valuing everyone’s opinion and viewpoint is what we are all about as a people.
The distinction made here is that LEADING people is done from an enrollment mindset that establishes the values for all in the process, gains buy-in, and is in sync with functioning. Whereas MANAGING people is typically issuing directives, mandates, and “guidelines” that dictate the execution of people without many aims for true consensus.
Neither style is ALWAYS, and sometimes we all must morph a bit in either direction. BUT the subject of WFH vs WFO, seems to be much more polarized. Having moved outside of a single corporate environment has opened my eyes to multiple views not previously seen. For the most part, big corporate entities are taking a management style of a directive to where they want their teams to participate in support of the corporate initiatives. Some are very hard-nosed about “it’s time to come back to the office”. Others are seeming to offer a mixed mode of days in one place versus another, while still applying significant behind-the-scenes pressure to get everyone back “in the office”. Others, with their numbers dwindling, are genuinely open to employee choice.
It is very likely that corporate business is missing a chance of a lifetime to create a whole new wave of “lifetime employees”! How would we do that?
The underlying belief that has been voiced so often is that somehow critical corporate culture was created, grown, and enhanced by simply being under the same roof, surrounded by the same walls, and spending time in hallway and water cooler conversations.
While it does not mean that those elements don’t have value, the harsh reality is that there are an untold number of poorly run companies that have terrible corporate values that share all the roof and wall concepts along with literal and virtual water coolers. Roofs and walls do not make a great culture. People and MANAGEMENT/LEADERSHIP make culture in every case, good or bad. What is said is of value, what is DONE creates the truth. Plaques and posters espousing values and culture do NOT make it come true. You can post your guiding values and corporate culture wonderfulness on every wall and it will not matter if the “talk is not walked”.
So, where does this take us?
MY opinion is that we can get the best of all worlds if we enable them. We have to create thinking that enables team growth, cultural enhancement, and personal expansion, REGARDLESS of where any of our team resides and works. It takes creating different methods, different mindsets, and different thinking, INTENTIONALLY. Intentionally created culture means just that. Created on PURPOSE, with the enablement of each and every one of our team and their style and nature.
Maximizing human engagement is not magical. It needs CARING about the people. It needs UNDERSTANDING of how to empower each person. It needs the commitment to SERVING all of those around us, ENDLESSLY. All of that ON PURPOSE.
We can set a new standard of excellence by focusing on why and how we enable our teams instead of where they do their “work”.
It is possible to counter every single negative element that is thrown against the wall about working from home…we just need to change our thinking…again, to change our beliefs, to change our outcomes. It has been done, and the best in business will grasp this challenge and make a corporate ADVANTAGE out of it. This is the greatest opportunity we have ever had to really affect inclusion! Please don’t pass it up.
OK, LET’S ROLL! Inclusively!