CornerStone Consulting AssociatesCurrent Reality
Current Realities: Organizational Learning and Growth

Prevailing Working Conditions

We are seeing shifts in how organizations compete for the best people. Size no longer offers an advantage in bidding for employees. With the changes in demographics and the way we work, large and small organizations are competing head-to-head for diversified, creative, and skilled people.

But people have more choices than ever before with respect to where and how they work. And to make matters even more interesting, most people are completely fed up with working conditions in most organizations.

The usual response by organizations to this complaint is to tighten up, crack down, and get back to basics. This in turn drives away good people. When we say ”the best people” or ”good people,” we aren't being exclusive. We mean to say that those most willing to take initiative and bring their full creative passion to work will be taking their services to another place of employment.

Let's look at the typical world of work as it all too often exists today:
  • People feel out of control.
  • People are not heard. Instead they are blocked until they become withdrawn.
  • Organizations are forcing accountability rather than receiving it from willing employees through alignment and shared purpose.
  • Young people enter the workforce unprepared. People in the workforce do not grow and acquire new skills.
  • People are ”disconnected” and ”detached.”
  • It's not safe to talk. People don't speak their mind or surface the truth. There are high levels of gossiping accompanied by occasional blow-ups and conflict. There is little sharing of knowledge. Mentoring is a dead issue.
  • Decision-making is poor. Few people get involved. Managers are overloaded. Everyone is stressed and taxed. The real essence of decision-making is not out in the open. Few value decisions are being made.
  • Power and high-control is manifest. People treat knowledge as power to be hoarded instead of sharing and multiplying it.
  • People are disgruntled, and this directly effects the end products of the organization. Poor quality. Not there in time. No flexibility. High levels of rework. No one is willing to take reasonable risk. Situations are paralyzed by over-analysis. No one is willing to trust intuition or gut-reaction.
  • Organizations are excluding more and more people every day while saying that they are trying to be more inclusive and respective of diversity.
  • Families suffer. Parents have no time for the children. Spouses have little time for one another.
People can't see themselves working for such organizations. The Company names that easily drew new employees 20 years ago now cause a chill to run through your body.

It has to change -- it can't go on like this. And it's no one's fault. Or another way to look at it is that it's all our faults. No ”one” person or organization caused it. And in like manner, it's the responsibility of us all to begin working for a new future.

If there's to be blame, then let it be on those who refuse to work together for change once they've come to understand. Organizational ecology -- the sustainability of our organizations -- is our responsible task. Once we became enlightened about how we were destroying our natural environment, we had to change for conscience sake. Now as we see the harm we've done with our current organizational climates, we must work hard for change -- again for conscience sake.

©CCA 1998

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CornerStone Consulting Associates
Bringing Systems to Life
2761 Stiegler Road - Valley City OH 44280 - US

fax: 330-725-2729