There is an old saying, “Technology changes, people don’t.”
It’s kind of depressing to think that with all the good stuff at our finger tips, we are not much different from Neanderthal man and woman.
Well, maybe we dress better.
As social beings, everything we do is interactive and contextual. And yes, technology has changed much of our behavior and much of our behavior dictates what is next in technology.
What hasn’t changed is that our interactive behaviors create different kinds of experiences, and that is where we really need to think about what kind of experience do we want to create, at home and at work.
The excellent book, “An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, explores the essence of relating in the modern workplace.
Three companies are studied in depth, three windows into the world of working together where videos, and apps are used to underline workplace relationships.
Here, technology compliments human dialogue. Here, one of the big questions concerns how to create and invest in meaningful experiences and still have a focus on a positive bottom line.
In all three companies everyone is a participant, and everyone is learning.
The Industrial Revolution gave way to the Information Age many decades ago and now we are on the edge of what, a new paradigm for “people power” that makes different, and who knows, perhaps better ways of relating, to be available faster and more effectively.
If the premise of the organizations discussed in the book is the basic desire for people, (all of us) to grow and become more whole, then we are in the midst of a new and exciting research expedition.
As I read “An Everyone Culture” I had lots of thoughts of “That may be for everyone…but me!” I did have many visceral reactions, for example, in one of the companies, they had created an environment where every meeting is recorded. In that setting, anyone in that organization can go to a computer and download to see what was going on.
I heard my internal-self yelling for privacy. I felt myself wanting to run and hide.
And then I took a walk and began to dissect my struggle with radical transparency.
I remembered a quote by actress Shirley MacLaine, “When wallowing in a vat of hot fudge, one yearns for a piece of celery.”
I am still questioning this type of openness in any relationship, at home or at work. The new way is to constantly adjust and adapt to change. Without it, you’re going to be left behind.
What are your thoughts about working in a setting where being real, being authentic, includes overt and absolute truthfulness? Are truthfulness and transparency the same thing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.