In the 5th episode of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast, I was delighted to be joined by Gunther Verheyen, Independent Scum Caretaker, who is working to humanise the workplace with scrum. Here are my Top Takeaways from our discussion….
Empathy: Self-awareness is the foundation of empathy. In order to be empathic, you need to understand your own drivers and behaviours, the behaviour of others and how you impact others. Without a real understanding of emotions and behaviours you will fail to grasp the real meaning of empathy which will impede your ability to truly understand and develop effective relationships with your work colleagues
Emotions in the workplace: it’s inhuman to expect people to hide their emotions in the workplace. When people climb the career ladder, it’s as if they leave their human side behind. In reality, this is not normal, not natural and not possible. It adds to individuals’ stress and overlays a pressure on people to behave inauthentically, eventually exacerbating the work pressures that lead to burnout.
Self-organising teams: when we talk about leadership at all levels, we can think about self-organising teams. These are teams where the leadership moves to different individuals with different skill-sets, based on the work at hand. Working within the framework of scrum, where work programmes develop in response to outputs and outcomes of previous work programmes, means that leadership and therefore leads, are constantly changing in response to need. In this way of working, people claim authority without having hierarchical authority.
Shared problem solving: when you use the scrum methodology and allow the leadership of a work programme to move in response to the challenge, you take the pressure off the strategic level managers. In the industrial paradigm where the traditional command and control management structure dominates, there is an expectation for those at the top always have the answers. With scrum, and leadership rotating throughout a team, it takes the pressure off those senior managers and allows them to operate in a human centric way again
Change combats obsolescence: Unless companies become more flexible, agile, responsive, innovative and able to capitalise on unforeseen opportunities, they will become obsolete. In doing so they need to engage their people, particularly those in the quiet-quitting group as a way of ensuring they remain relevant to the market. The turnover in the world’s top 50 and 100 companies is increasing. The companies that are entering and leaving this list are increasing and the time they spend on the list is decreasing, meaning that relevance to the market-place is key to ongoing survival. Unless companies embrace change, they are doomed to fail