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Workplace of the Future

J: Welcome to Slingshot25 Shotcasts, a series of bite-sized podcasts that will feel like an espresso shot straight to your brain. I’m Jackie.

C: I’m Courtney.

J: Something we’re thinking about right now is… workplace of the future.

C: The future is now.

J: What are we thinking about that, Courtney?

C: That’s why I’m thinking about it… is the future is happening right now. People are wrestling with, what do I do with my workforce? Some people are at home, some people aren’t, some people have a choice, some people don’t, and the question really comes, “How do I lead? What decision do I make? and “How do we keep our employees engaged?”

I think the people asking us the question are trying to get it right.

J: What we know for sure, is that there’s no sure answer, there’s no surefire formula. There are multiple points of tension. That leaders who want to lead in this space, adjust to this workforce of the future have multiple points they need to be thinking about. There is no perfect design. What are some of the things that have come up for you, Courtney, in what we should share with leaders for what they should be thinking about?

C: I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned recently is how much we lost trying to do our work via Zoom. As we’re getting groups back together, we’re having workshops we’re allowing people time to talk to each other, to ask questions, to get context, to fill in the blanks, to talk about their understandings or misinterpretation. I’m realizing that we lost a lot to not be able to do that. And in that connection, trust is being rebuilt.

J: Yeah, so what I’m hearing you say is that there’s a lot of nuance and context that just can’t be achieved through video. And of course, nuance and context is what is needed to build trust. So, maybe the question our leaders need to be wrestling with is not, what is the right formula for my team? But, “Is there trust on my team?” And, if there is an erosion of trust in any way, what do I do to help solve for that?

C: And what’s it costing me not to have it? So, the thing that kind of blew my mind is when you think about it, I was listening to a Brene Brown podcast with Scott Sonenshein and they were talking about the real things that make our companies great – our innovation and our ability to deal with conflict and solve problems. That’s next edge stuff and it requires trust. So, if we want to get through our problems, we want to solve messy things, we want that innovation. We’ve got to have trust and we’ve got to have space for context and understanding. We’ve got to have space to reconcile misinterpretations. Because, if we don’t have it and you do something or I do something we don’t understand and I jump to bad conclusions… trust breaks immediately. I think we had a lot of cases where because I didn’t know, I didn’t have time, I wasn’t with you, I jumped to a bad interpretation. Trust is broken and guess what, we’re not innovating, we’re not solving problems, and we’re not getting work done. 

J: All right and all of that stuff is so needed in our organizations right now. So that’s all we have for this episode, but we always have much more to say about this. So, if you want more be sure to drop us a line at slingshot25.com. Until next time!

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