What would be fun to try to create a better workplace?

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Everyone seems to agree that we need to transform our workplaces to make them both more human-friendly and productive. But most of the time, the people who want to do things a new way got about it in the old way.

Academics have conferences where academics, “thought leaders”, and high-visibility executives come together to listen to presentations and ponder. They produce long lists labeled “Action” something-or-other, even though you won’t notice much action. Most of them are wish lists put together by people who view the issue from afar.

Consultants and their firms develop cutting edge solutions. Just ask them. They claim results they don’t submit to third party verification and tell you that no one else has cracked the code. They insist you use their terminology when discussing workplace transformation. The jargon is part of their brand.

There’s got to be a better way. How about asking people for ideas and seeing what comes of it?

Academics and consultants and pundits and bloggers are all welcome. So are lathe operators, customer service supervisors, writers, students, line workers, middle managers and CEOs. Anyone can play. There’s a lot of wisdom in the crowd.

Here are suggestions to get you started.

What if no one went to a meeting if they didn’t choose to?

What if we chose leaders from below instead of from above?

What if we gave everyone in the company time to “dabble” on a project of their own choosing?

What else? What ideas do you have? If it’s something you’ve seen work in the real world, let us know where. The three ideas above represent practices in place at W. L. Gore today.

Most of the good ideas are already out there someplace. And every good idea starts out in someone’s head.

Now it’s your turn. How can we make the workplace better?

You will find ideas about how the workplace could change in my list of the Best Books on 21st Century Management and Leadership.

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What People Are Saying

David Greer   |   14 Dec 2018   |   Reply

Hi Wally,

Ask employees what you should stop doing and then stop doing them. A question that I don’t think gets asked often enough. We are often busy implementing new ideas without stopping old processes that no longer add value.



Wally Bock   |   14 Dec 2018   |   Reply

Good point, David. Sometimes you get more value from what you remove.

Jack   |   17 Dec 2018   |   Reply

We spent most of our time at our workplace. It’s very important to make our workplace better which is filled with brighter ideas. Glad to come across such article. Thank you for sharing.

Wally Bock   |   17 Dec 2018   |   Reply

Thanks for adding to the conversation.