Problems with work

Many of us maintain an illusion that we solve problems at work.

The reality is that we spend a large proportion of our time, energy and resources solving problems with work.

We fall short. Our ways of working are messy, ineffective, underwhelming, wasteful or completely off-target.

Our people (and institutions) have been educated and habituated to particular ways of working. These default ways of working are not good for the types of problems we are facing in an increasingly fast paced and complex world.

When we try and bring old ways of working to this new type of work, we do injustices: to the work and to our people.

The world has shifted and we need new ways of working. We need to know when to reach for different tools, and what they are, for when the work is different. We need to dig our way out of the ineffective and (frankly) damaging legacies of the limited set of conversations that we inherited out of the industrial material contexts of work in the 19th and 20th Century that impede upon our ability to do that work.

We need to keep the challenge where it belongs: working on solving problems, not solving problems with work.