towards real change
Had some very interesting discussion in work yesterday, but much of it was about politics rather than the subject area of work itself. It was partly about how to run things, and as that's not my area of work, and I'm not officially a manager, this wouldn't really fit in my work blog.
I was a clarification of my politics and of my vision, and that does contribute towards real choice.
In essence, I found that the route to positive change in society that I advocate is through:
- personal growth and development in consciousness, conceived in similar terms to Robert Kegan's "In Over Our Heads"
- personal growth happening alongside professional and occupational growth in the workplace
- the workplace being constituted as a place in which people grow and develop as human beings, finding achievement, satisfaction and fulfilment in "good work"
- therefore, ethical development happening in the workplace
- change in society and the world also coming about through the positive effects of change in the workplace
- people taking their deepened moral faculties into their lives outside work, resulting in civic engagement, volunteering, family life, and all kinds of movements for positive change in the world.
The key to using the vehicle of the workplace for this journey towards positive change must be the practices in the workplace. There are a few that I think may be vital:
- constructive periodic review and appraisal to articulate the aims and goals of the individual along with the organisation
- positive argumentation and debate about the value of the individual's contribution to the organisation
- the use of portfolio-style practices, very much in ways mapped out by Darren Cambridge in his excellent book "e-Portfolios for Lifelong Learning and Assessment", but specifically in the workplace, to play that role in both presenting and debating the value of the individual's contribution
- transparency in the workplace, as happens in Ricardo Semler's Semco businesses
- having every individual's work followed closely by a very small number (say 2 to 4) work colleagues who have the role of "critical companions" (I mean a workplace equivalent of "critical friends"), thus providing continual steer between the episodes of periodic review and appraisal.
One way in which every individual can contribute to this process of positive change is by introducing whatever practices they can in the workplace that they have the power to do — which of course may not be much.
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