February is the love month – the month of St. Valentine, of cupid and perhaps of memories of Valentine’s Days past. Personally, I like it because I love the original Necco brand heart candies.
But I digress.
Why would we talk about love in an issure of a professional/business/leadership blog post?
Most people might shy away from this topic. I mean, love isn’t a business topic, is it?
If we could read the hypothetical blogs of shop and business owners and their hypothetical consultants prior to the Industrial Revolution, I believe we would have read lots about love in business and the workplace.
While businesses and professions were passed down generation to generation, I believe that most of the time for the most part, people loved their work.
They cared about their customers. They believed in the importance of what they were doing.
As technology and mechanization increased, the nature and context of work changed significantly. One natural outgrowth was the size of organizations. Now companies grew larger and more people came to work in a centralized place.
Fast forwarding to late in the 1800’s, people like Fredrick Taylor, the founder of Scientific Management, moved organizations forward through the systematic observation and understanding of working systems so they could be improved.
This was important work, and work that in many ways led to the supposed removal of emotion from the workplace.
Zoom forward again to the Quality work of pioneers like Deming, Juran, and others, and you will see the furtherance of the focus on the work output, process improvement and productivity gain (and this focus, though not the intent of these thinkers, often lead to the further reduction of the perceived value of emotion in the workplace).
Look around today and you will see that the world of work continues to evolve.
While there are still many very historically large organizations (which you may work in), organizations are generally getting smaller (and overwhelming, smaller more agile organizations have higher productivity, profitability and create more jobs).
More and more of the conversation in organizations is about the importance of things like pride, caring for customers, engaging employees and much more.
Pride, caring, and engagement. These and many other current topics are thinly veiled attempts to talk about the importance of the emotional component of the workplace.
Love. Passion. Belief.
These concepts have been important in all forms of work and commerce since the beginning of time. These aren’t “new-age” concepts, nor are they important only to the authors who write about them and the speakers who speak about them.
Organizations are made up of people.
And people, generally speaking, haven’t changed. We all have the same basic wants, needs and desires.
This isn’t a newer generation issue or a passing fad. People are people are people, and people have been around far longer than organizations.
Organizations of the size and complexity we now see are a relatively new phenomenon.
We are still learning, and recognizing that the true power of the organization is the people inside those organizations.
The lessons we are learning – the lessons we need to heed and master as leaders – are at the heart of long term organizational success.
Passion. Caring. Service. Pride. Belief. Fun. Engagement.
L-O-V-E. Don’t make that a four letter word in your organization.
Happy LOVE Month.
Today’s guest post is by Kevin Eikenberry, author, speaker, trainer, consultant, and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group . His book, co-authored with Guy Harris, From Bud to Boss – Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership launched on February 15, 2011.