THE NEW WORK CONTRACT
OUR VIEW, FROM THE WORKFORCE TO LEADERS
A funny thing happened on the way to the revolution.
Your emphasis on productivity and cost-cutting forced us to change how we think about the war for our talent. For that, we thank you! Your ability to stay focused on the bottom line has inspired us.
We had gotten lazy about controlling our own destiny. We figured if we focused on customers and profits, continuously changed and grew, drank the corporate Kool-aid, and did great work — we’d be the masters of our own fate. Boy, are we glad that the 2008-2010 financial crisis woke us from that fairy tale. Wasn’t a fun way to get it, but get it we did.
So we watched what you do. We studied how you constantly push for greater returns on investment to ensure your own future. Based on what we learned, we have rewritten our work contract. You are not effectively managing the assets we provide, and we’re calling you on it.
Decent pay, appropriate benefits, great culture and leadership — all are givens in this contract. Important… but baseline issues. After that, it gets interesting, and personal.
This new covenant between us cuts to the heart of who owns, controls, and sets the rules for productivity. Specifically, how much value you create for us when you organize our work.
It’s pretty simple, really.
More and more, a big piece of the working capital you leverage to get stuff done is ours. You want us to spend our assets — our time, our attention, our ideas, knowledge, passion, energy, and social networks — on work that you think is important. That means, more and more, we’ve got to think and act like investors.
We are students of the marketplace, have learned quickly, and need to audit your efforts: Are you making productive use of our assets? Would an hour invested in a competitor’s firm provide a better return? Are you creating better communities than we can find outside in the networked world?
We were becoming slaves to your infrastructure: That which was supposed to help us now dictates too much of what we can’t get done. The tools we have outside of work are leapfrogging past what we have at work — your love of lingering bureaucracy, legacy technologies and deeply embedded procedures are killing us.
Throw out much of what you thought you knew about creating a “great place to work.” A new work contract is hitting your shores. We call this new covenant Work 2.0. Our relationship with you must return more value on our working capital.
And here’s the thing: Don’t treat us like investors and we’ll hack our work. We’ll join the underground armies of top performers who are bypassing your sacred structures and breaking all sorts of rules just to get their work done. Like them, we’ll take matters into his own hands to increase our own productivity and achieve better results that way.