I was afraid this would happen. Last month in my Fast Company blog (Recession and Work+Life Fit), I noted that as we move into what increasingly seems like a recession, the response of many will most likely be for innovation related to flexibility and work+life fit to stop because:
“Unfortunately, too many leaders and organizations will default to a shortsighted fall back position, “Forget flexibility. People are just lucky to have jobs.”
Indeed, some leaders I’ve observed over the past month are having that reaction. I can understand it. Incorporating more flexibility into the way you operate your business, and manage your work+life fit even during the best of times can be scary because it’s new. Throw some bad economic forecasts onto that natural fear, and the next thing you know all innovation comes to a screeching halt as we hold on tighter to what we know. Even if what we know isn’t ultimately going to help us succeed.
But there is good news! As I’d hoped, “But…smart leaders and organizations…will continue to move forward integrating flexibility into the way they do business because they understand that there is no turning back.” And, thankfully, this is happening as well. In the last month, I’ve met a number of forward-thinking leaders who see flexibility as the way they need to do business and help people manage their work+life fit, especially in tougher economic times.
They may be in the minority, but these leaders understand that the trends requiring businesses to rethink how, when and where work is done, and individuals to more effectively manage their work and life aren’t going away. And, in fact, are only going to become more pronounced in our 24/7, high tech, global work reality. For a powerful presentation these trends and what they mean, check out a video that one of my clients brought to my attention last week called “Shift Happens”.
Wanting to circle-the-wagons is an understandable reaction to a recession, but let’s recognize and support the few who are trying to be innovative, flexible thought-leaders. Maybe their example will inspire their peers to do the same.
Do you have any examples of forward-thinking leaders who aren’t letting the recession stop them from rethinking how we all could work better, smarter and more flexibly manage our resources, talent, workflow and work+life fit?
(Check out my Fast Company Blog: Prediction–Meditation Becomes a Core Competency)