Improving Corporate Culture

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I believe that most organizations are miserable places to work. They are Corporate Cubeworlds. And no one is to blame. Companies have inherited their corporate culture from the Industrial Age and it just don't work anymore. People are unhappy and Corporate Cubeworlds are much less profitable than they could be.

Before I go further, let me identify what I mean by the Corporate Cubeworld.

Key Attributes of the Corporate Cubeworld:

1. Work is a worker's primary responsibility in life and comes above family and personal concerns (even health)
2. If a woman takes time off to raise children, she becomes less valued and is deemed to be less committed to the company
3. Long hours and lots of face time are required
4. Your title on your business card is your identity
5. Hard, diligent work is not enough - you must do lots of self-promotion and gain the support of powerful players to advance in the Cubeworld
6. Your chances of success are greatly increased if you look, act, and think like the leaders of the company
7. Hierarchy is to be honored and sustained - your job is to make your boss look good
8. The higher you get in the hierarchy, the more you delegate and supervise and the less work that you actually do
9. The point of all this is to keep climbing up the corporate ladder - always reach for more - compete ferociously in this win-lose game
10. Wear your cubeface - don't show human emotion, passion, or weakness

The Conference Board released a report on February 28, 2005 stating that “Americans are increasingly unhappy with their jobs. The decline in job satisfaction is widespread among workers of all ages and across all income brackets. " The report showed that:

* 25% of American workers are just “showing up to collect a paycheck" * 40% of workers feel disconnected from their employers * Two out of every three workers do not identify with or feel motivated to drive their employers’ business goals and objectives.

They also found it that money cannot buy satisfaction. Job satisfaction has declined across all income levels and only 14% of workers earning $50,000 or more a “very satisfied" with their jobs. The report says that “Rapid technological changes, rising productivity demands and changing employee expectations have all contributed to the decline in job satisfaction. "

My interpretation of this: the most corporate cultures are inherently rigid and inflexible and companies wants more and more from workers who are less and less willing to surrender their lives to their jobs.

What this report shows is that there are a LOT of unhappy workers in the Corporate Cubeworld. Is there something wrong with all of these people or is it more plausible that there is something inherently broken in the Corporate Cubeworld?

There are many organizations that have transcended the Industrial Age command-and-control factory-oriented mentality and offer team members opportunities to learn, grow, play, evolve as people, and have a fulfilling family life. These entities are to be applauded and celebrated.

If, however, you find yourself in a work environment that does not support your higher good, that prohibits emotions and passion, that requires you to wear the corporate cubeface, that punishes you for having a life outside of work, that has illogical rules for success like “work 70 hours a week and look and act like the CEO", then it may be time for you to considering going Cubeless.

What Is a Cubeless Corporation?

I would like to point you to a vision of a cubeless world. One in which you build and life while you build your business. One in which you build multiple revenue streams, some active and some passive. One that is integrated with the life you want to be living.

Attributes of the Cubeless World

1. You feel passionate about the work you do.
2. Your work is an expression of your true self.
3. You are free to express your passion and all of your other natural, human emotions.
4. Cooperation is valued over competition.
5. Mindful parenting is viewed as important and challenging work that adds to your value as a worker.
6. An abundance mentality provides prosperity for all involved, not just those at the top.
7. Office spaces are wherever you work most effectively and efficiently (i. e. park bench, coffee shop, home office).
8. Work hours are flexible and determined by your body clock, lifestyle, and inspiration.
9. You are free to pursue many interests simultaneously.
10. The point is not to climb a linear, vertical career ladder, but to try on different works, fail joyously and repeatedly, while building wealth, having fun, and learning.

Do you think that I am a dreamer or idealist? Let's remember that we build organizations to work for us. We band together to make our work more efficient and easier. If our organizations aren't working, then we must change them.

The first step in shifting from a Cubeworld to a Cubeless Company is to shift the corporate culture. We have the technology to go Cubeless, but most corporate cultures live in the shadows of fear, mistrust, and control left over from the industrial era. To remain competitive in today's business climate, companies must proactively improve their corporate culture.

Find out how to successfully change your corporate culture. Debra Thorsen helps companies optimize their corporate cultures. Visit Culture Builders for a FREE white paper - Corporate Culture Change: Aligning People and Profits.


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