The OWL Despatch

Staying Human

Staying human in organizations requires reflection

I am emerging from Diwali’s ghee laden sugar cesspools. Pardon me if I am a trifle slow for a few days. Actually, do me a favour and blame it on the ghee.  Its only human you see. The damn sweets were too inviting to give them a miss. 

Even as I try to draw a lame road for you to ghee’s doorstep in the name of being human, may I invite you to ponder the role of ‘humanities’ in our life. Every day of our life is dominated by precision and the grey is getting ever so distant. Precise announcements that there will be rain at 2.43 PM leads to us taking umbrage if it doesn’t.  Or consider, for that matter, precise pronouncement on how far you are from a location and when you would reach another! The human ability to revel in grey is wilting under the piercing rays of technology. Not only that, the degree of ‘instrumentality’ and ‘usefulness’ that have come to become mainstays of human search have far-reaching impact. Impact beyond what we know or what our ‘buysness’ allows us to explore and understand.

Gianpiero Petriglieri writes evocatively

“Browse the popular management literature, and you will notice that most articles follow a well-worn genre: pointing to a problem and prescribing practical solutions. We celebrate what works and make us work better, we devour tips and techniques to be more effective, we love shortcuts and hacks to straighten our lives out.

We seldom pause to consider the side effects of those prescriptions. What if best practices make us worse humans?”

OWL (Our work in learning despatch this edition draws on how to stay human in organizations

I quite enjoyed his piece.I would urge you to give it a careful read and ponder what have you left pristine grey in your life. Or you too, like me and several others have become seekers of specific answers demanding it to be delivered to the palm of your hand?

How about multiplying that thought with another important dynamic.Human beings living up to a 100 and beyond is not going to be rare soon. The question really will be about what humans would do’? ‘How do you retire at 60 when perhaps you have the desire and energy for 40 more years? What new meaning and purpose will you adorn yourself with?’ There is a Prof.Lynda Gratton piece on the same. 

Plus a story on a cleaning company that is doing without managers. They traded hierarchy for simplicity and rules for common sense and have a pithy statement that caught my eye. “The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom”.  But of course! 

My own memory from making horrendous experiments in the chemistry lab reminded me of a few things on Digital transformation . And then there is a piece on Blockchain. As Always.

Image credits Pixabay

That’s that for this edition. 

Thank you for all the feedback and spreading the word. I devour them with intensity every time. I am only human.  

Wishing the very best. 

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