The journey we take in life is one of obstacles, greatness, sadness and many other things. Although it is mainly about managing the ups and downs, maybe the most important thing is to never stop growing and learning in life. Due to technology developments and societal changes customers are becoming more demanding, while our work environment often continues to drive on old business models and processes bringing forth boring repetitive tasks. The robotic role should not be fulfilled by humans. It should be the other way around; embracing these high-potential changes should lead to a creative, value-added work and better work-life balance. It is time for leadership to get people out of the vicious circle and look forward to yet another monday each week.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working for people with exceptional qualities and seeing them grow to become something more, better or distinguished then what they were. Yet there is always that nagging feeling bothering me. It is understandable for people to strive for a healthy work-life balance in which there is enough time to enjoy time with our loved ones. In that perspective I can connect with that fact that the weekend is important. But starting the countdown of weekdays on Tuesday until the weekend dawns proves the dissatisfaction of employees. Why do we ‘thank god it is Friday’?
Finally, I am getting it. #TGIF is a disturbing signal that things are fundamentally wrong in the way we live our lives and spend our time. And it is something I have come to see as collective leadership failure. Why have we made work so boring in our journey of change these last decades? Why have we made life in schools such a hell that it deprives students of the fun experience? I believe it is because we have not led our business, schools and society very well. We have run it based on Adam Smith and the cult of continued growth. Making a difference should be fun. It is time to change the everlasting withdrawal of creativity.
We are now approaching a moment in time where we actually can focus on the things that matter to people thanks to automation. By automating tasks and processes we will re-gain the ability to challenge ourselves and take out the boring, useless and mundane parts of work and replace it with the most scarce commodity: time. We will be able to spend more time on and with those we love, as well as on the things we like to do.
As leaders it is time to embrace the inevitable digital future and start thinking on making work, school and so many other things fun again. We need to get rid of the #TGIF failure and unleash another monday.
Are you prepared to join this revolution?