Everything about an organization depends on the culture, its priorities, authentic leadership and the importance of the people. The majority of organizations function on profits before people, a totally outdated 20th Century model.
In the 21st Century, we cannot continue to operate as we used to. The world has changed and keeps changing at a pace that is so rapid that it is challenging to keep up. The rate at which we are moving is not measurable and time seems to be the most sought after resource.
What has become clear is that our ‘value systems’ are getting more compromised by the day – that is if they even exist. The ‘profits before people’ syndrome clearly highlights the lack of a value system. Materialism has taken a nose dive into the very depths of the African continent from the West.
I am not disputing the fact that we all need money to pay our bills but the difference in my thinking is ‘how much is enough’? We need to get back to basics. This means one needs to start looking at our number one asset – PEOPLE. If an organization is not consciously involved and evolved enough to ensure that people are satisfied – profit margins will not be achieved. 21st Century mindsets demand that leaders behave authentically. This means that ‘action speaks louder than words.’
I am weary of people who regurgitate and use words to impress and pull the veil on others without actually ‘living’ their talk. Another fact that does not stop surprising me is those people and organizations that are so intellectually lazy, they like to copy other people. They sneak around pretending to be original when they are a photocopy of someone else’s creativity.
Organizational performance begins with and has everything to do with people, their orientation, and personal culture. It is important to create a collective organizational value-based culture which is well defined and shared with every employee. These cannot be words on a page or a policy manual, this is about changing the biases that most people are socialized with and helping them overcome their limitations.
Creating a collective culture entails investing in people and teaching them about what real communication, integrity, responsibility, trust, sharing, openness, collaboration and consultation means and how to live this. This is not a 3- day journey…this is a lifelong path once an organization decides its priorities are people. My work in the last decade has proved, unquestioningly, that this is the only way forward in the 21st century!