Creating tenacious culture in dynamic industries that foster chaotic environments is no easy feat. Frequent change, striving for continuous development, and completing work that’s driven by progress and motivated by scale are characteristics that create stimulating and inspiring places to work!
However, the pressures that accompany high-performance can often get in the way of timely completion and affect the quality of work delivered.
Here at Flood, our consulting experiences have pushed our company leadership to look deeper inward at the problems we face as a company, and have allowed us to relate to our clients more genuinely than ever before.
We’ve found there’s no better place to start than by taking a look at the office culture influencing a business (including our own). From the established internal processes and the social dynamics involved, we’re able to glean an understanding of nuances that either hinder or help performance.
Change: the nature of the game; the nature of life
We learn from every one of the clients we help, and from our evaluations our eyes are opened to reflect and assess our own needs for change. Change is painful– but in the words of Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, “change is the only constant in life.” We can blame the digital world for maintaining this truth in modern times.
Internet culture, the ease and instantaneousness of communication via texts, emails, voice messages, etc. has taken up a significant amount of slack time in the realm of business. Not to mention, social media outlets provide nearly real-time updates to absolutely everything going on in the world. Reduced turn-around time and less waiting are the joys that technology provides business.
It should come as no surprise– instant information isn’t going anywhere. If anything, our dependence on it will continue to increase. The free world world will continue to create new, better solutions for automating mundane tasks and progressing beyond the next workflow hiccup.
Businesses that groom a culture that’s accepting and understanding of change are the ones that will advance in success. But that requires work, and a lot of discipline.
Pain, discomfort, and “getting over it”
Best practice for accommodating unforeseen change?
Living into transparent communication, and objectively treating situations that call for redirection. It’s very important to normalize conversations surrounding pain points as part of the business. Doing so reduces fear and prevents delay in confronting issues that could be managed sooner.
Lacking fear of painful discussion topics and looking avoidance right in the face allows for SO MUCH time and energy to be saved. For that matter, you’re saving brain space, preoccupation, and all the opportunities pain distracts us from.
The ability to verbally offload discomfort also allows for growth individually, and also supports interpersonal bonding and trust. And it gets easier every time. Individuals are intrinsically more agile and adaptable to issues that stagger performance when they feel empowered to speak candidly.
The ability to talk about change and pain should reach beyond office walls. Incorporating clients in those conversations– keeping them aware of strategies for adaptation and including them in identifying processes that cause resistance is arguably more important for our own company at the end of the day.
Everyone experiences pain. Everyone experiences discomfort. The difference we can make in one another’s experiences is by mastering reactiveness and impulsivity. By having empathy for one another.
Armed with empathy
Don’t walk through the door to the workplace lacking Empathy.
Empathy translates to approachability and communication– and is the key to genuine understanding.
Weather in regard to a client or a co-worker, knowledge and information is never seamlessly transferred in any organization. Internal and external goals may conflict, but having an understanding and expectation of conflict in its true spontaneous form prevents disappointment.
Empathy opens doors for painful conversations. It supports honesty and transparency, and permits more agile strategies for solving problems. Discomfort is less likely to have time to fester or snowball into bigger issues if all partners in a workforce can fearlessly embrace conversations that just need to be had.
Realistically, every one of our lives are insane and disorganized at some point. It’s far more auspicious to know you have supportive people on your side to lean into until ground can be made. Having empathy, compassion, and even appreciation for the things that don’t go quite right will contribute to a positive work environment that’s adaptable and tactful about getting back on track.
By Polly Burge