Are You A Dinosaur?
Five Questions to Ask Yourself
Age Is No Barrier To Being A Dinosaur
There is one thing in the workplace that has always got me hot under the collar. It’s when an employee says: “that’s how we have always done it around here.”
I know from experience, each time I hear such a statement, the world has passed that organisation by. It has ceased to be a living being. In particular, I will find there is little in the way of innovation, team work is generally poor and two way communication will be at an all time low. In short: a dinosaur extinction event is on the horizon. It will either be a quick demise, or there will be a long meandering towards a slow death.
You may not be the dinosaur, but your workplace is.
So, how do you know when the world has bypassed you and/or your workplace? To find this out, ask yourself the following:
- Are there up to date policies and procedures in place?
- Does your organisation keep good records? i.e. good information?
- Is your participation welcomed at meetings?
- Are continuous improvements (or business process re-engineering encouraged)?
- Is training and development of all staff members supported?
If you have answered no to one or more of these questions, then the conclusion is, sadly you are either: on the path to nowhere, or you are fully entrenched in a workplace that is unsatisfying and unrewarding.
But, don’t despair!
What can you do?
I can honestly tell you that keeping your fingers crossed waiting for an intervention of some sort to happen is not the way to go. Such interventions happen once the upper echelons realise there is a problem. This may take longer than everybody hopes, and not before quite a bit of damage is done.
If you are the dinosaur, and want to know how to head off an untimely demise, do these five things:
- Start preparing policies and/or procedures regarding your role. Not only is this for your benefit, but others who may be on your team or who come in after you;
- Ensure you keep records of the work you do. Records are not just about compliance but contributing to creating an effective corporate memory. This is information which can be re-used (so, what did we learn?) to assist with a future project or perhaps be the basis of a scenario plan (multiple predictions of the future);
- Figure out how you can get noticed at meetings. A big tip: appear to look engaged. Become better at making comments and choosing an appropriate time when to make them. Once you make a statement, you need to follow through in a calm and objective manner. This is amplified even more so during video conferences;
- Embrace continuous improvement. In essence, reviewing and preparing policies and/or procedures on a regular basis is a good place to start. Similarly, find technology that will help make a difference and not enslave you to its functions and so entrap you in the dinosaur tar pit!!!
- Find some training you can undertake that will be of benefit to both you and your organisation, now and in the future. The concept of the learning organisation has been around for 30 years. It’s time you and your company got on board!
Note: if your organisation starts to follow your lead, then you are both on the path out of the dinosaur swamp (or tar pit!)
A Final Word
Blogs such as MiddleMe by Kally, have some great tips and also where to look for resources on embracing forward thinking and forward moving work practices. Such blogs also show you how these practices will contribute to assisting your organisation doing the same.
It’s never too late to start your workplace journey!
What else is there that you can do to help futureproof both you and the organisation that you work for?