Coronavirus has got many people questioning their models and assumptions around work. Kirsten Gibbs, Process Expert, asks if it’s time to question our models of business too?
Weeks of lockdown has many of us questioning our models of the world. This is a good thing. We should always be questioning the old and exploring the new.
For example, utility-maximising self-interest isn’t generally how most people work. As identified in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, money isn’t a motivator for doing work that really matters. On the whole, people are prepared to temporarily sacrifice some personal freedoms for the greater good.
Office-based businesses have discovered that their model of work was inaccurate as working from home hasn’t necessarily turned staff into skivers. On the contrary, given the right conditions, it helps people to be more productive, to take more responsibility and to enjoy work more. The boss doesn’t need to see them working to know that they are. Staff don’t need to be corralled into a single space and time to produce results.
Individuals have found that their model of success has changed. Many have found that the shifting balance between their work and home lives has highlighted that they want more time to spend, rather than more money.
So, is it time to explore new models for business too? Does the idea of a business as factory, army, or machine prevents us from getting the best from our businesses or our people?
What could a more helpful model look like?
Let’s start by looking at some characteristics of a business that traditional models may have obscured.