I became aware of the huge bias against mothers in hiring, wages and advancement over a decade ago. In response I co-founded MomsRising.org with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. As I learned more and more about work that was compatible with parenthood it became clear that all the practices that are good for mothers are good for everybody, businesses included. In 2010 I co-wrote The Custom-Fit Workplace: Choose When, Where and How to Work and Boost the Bottom Line. Out of the pink ghetto, a year later, speaking at a Wall St. conference it became clear to me that even this was not sufficient! There have been inspirational speakers, thinkers, academics and consultants that speak to the power of teams, trust, flexibility, results-based management and more for decades... but broad systemic change has not happened. In spite of many brilliant success stories to emulate, great workplaces continue to be the exception rather than the norm. This must change!
Why do we need Great Work Cultures? A recent Gallup report reveals that 70% of the workforce is not engaged. Lost productivity of the actively disengaged is estimated to cost our economy 450-550 billion dollars a year! We believe that dismal situation results from the fact that most work cultures are anything but respectful. This can change.
The Rosetta Stone was discovered on July 15,1799 - it enabled linguists to decipher hitherto untranslated ancient writing. Today discover Great Work Cultures, a resource for translating dated work practices into modern vibrant work environments that fit the realities of the modern workforce. Great Work Cultures blog posts will feature a wide range of voices which we believe will lead to greater understanding and a new norm of great work practices that are deeply respectful and unleash workers' potential. What's not to like? Great work cultures are great for productivity and great for people.
The Great Work Cultures vision is to collectively achieve what we have not been able to do independently - to create deep, broad workplace culture change so that all workers can expect and experience a respectful work environment, and workplaces that do not aspire to achieve this goal are recognized as sub-standard and under-performing.
Catalyzing a modern workplace culture norm with respect and dignity at its core - replacing old-fashioned "Command and Control" management - is both a daunting and inspiring goal. This big vision will require sustained collective action - intentional organizing layered on top of, and in service to, all the stellar work that has already been done. It is human nature to avoid change and minimize risk. Creating and maintaining a great work culture is an ongoing practice that requires leadership not only at the top but throughout an organization. If we share our success stories and knowledge, working together to amplify the breakthrough opportunities - and using Hollywood, academia and other key transmission channels, we can create a new norm where individuals and work cultures can expect more.
This movement's fundamental moral purpose ensures our ultimate success. Great Work Cultures champion, Doug Kirkpatrick, likened the movement to a river that is growing in strength as many tributaries, comprised of individual champions, organizations, and networks come together and feed into the movement.
Our collective knowledge, combined with connections and a passion to explore, experiment and engage for as long as it takes, to create the future we dream of, will prevail. Cultural change happens when people share core values and refuse to lose sight of their shared purpose. We will be persistent and opportunistic in all the best senses of these words. We believe in the punctuated equilibrium of social progress. We will lean into tipping points and phase shifts, standing ready to take advantage of Goldilocks moments when the timing is just right. Continually growing the foundations for dignity at work, progress big and small will enrich our understanding and spread the benefits of respectful work cultures.
We are committed to energizing and supporting each other. We understand that this will take a long time. We are inspired and excited about all we expect to learn along the way.
It is well past time for modern work practices to match the reality of the modern workforce. Together we will employ organizing principles to achieve work culture change that moves workplaces from Command and Control to Respect and Empowered practices. Wouldn't a new norm based upon respect and empowerment be a gift?