I’m tired of organisational ‘stretch’ goals, increased productivity year on year, more-better-faster, doing-more-with-less, change after change, restructure after restructure. I’m tired of the push for endless growth, non-stop better performance, climbing the pole, getting to the top, being a ‘world-class’ whatever-it-is. I’m tired of squeezing out extra profit, running a lean-mean six-sigma machine. I’m tired of people being human ‘resources’ instead of people, of the way we’ve replaced the simplicity and directness of conversation with procedure and process, and of the increasing bureaucratisation of our workplaces that replaces practical wisdom with monotone rules and repeatability. I’m tired of endless criticism, not-good-enough-yet, and the self-judgement that comes with it. I’m tired of busyness and back-to-back meetings and no-time-to-talk and a million emails in my inbox and staring at my smartphone to see if anyone needs me. I’m tired of impossible targets and five-year-plans that everybody knows won’t come to be and corporate visions and values that box people in and try to make them all the same.
I see all of this in so many organisations I work with. And I see much of it echoed in myself. And I’m tired of it all.
I think there’s a chance you may be tired of it too. Even if (especially if) you’re one of the people arguing most to bring all of this about.
We enslave ourselves to the idea that we’ll be saved if we can just keep going faster – an idea that produces so much of the difficulty above, and so much stress in each of us.
What would happen I wonder if, instead, we freed ourselves into the possibility that so much of what we do is just fine as it is?
And that we, and all we are up to, are good enough already?