by The Dad Coach, Mark McCartney
How many of your talent pool want to work in an organisational culture geared to the needs of mainly white, pale, stale men in their 50s? This is still the norm in the vast majority of organisations.
Beyond all the talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and AI, not that much is changing in organisations. Look around. For instance:
- Where and when does work get done in your organisation? Mostly in the office?
- How much time do employees spend in pointless meetings? What outcomes actually arise from them?
- How much time is really given to creative thinking that will enable the organisation to innovate?
I focus on coaching men in leadership positions who have children under the age of 11 and want to change. Why? It’s a tough time but one ripe for change. For instance, we quickly realise that a so-called work-life balance is extremely difficult to find (which is why, as an aside, I provide other, better models for thinking about accomplishing outcomes at work but not at the expense of family life). That means there is openness to other ways of working beyond the habitual longer, harder, faster mantra infecting most organisations.
Plus, if men in leadership positions don’t make radical changes to the workplace then women’s progress will continue to be stunted. And another generation will grow up seeing dad leave for work on Monday morning and resurface on Friday evening with little or no energy left for the weekend.
The first step is to understand the attitudes driving the behaviours and processes that underpin the way many organisation are structured.
This is urgent as the nature of work fundamentally shifts from a male-type approach e.g. war-based language (strategy, tactics, battleplans etc.) to a more feminine-based approach e.g. systems/nature-based approach (collaboration, creation, sustainability).
The first step is to start a conversation within organisations. After all, changes will benefit men, women, children and society more broadly. To quote from a senior leader I coached at a well-known UK utility company If we don’t change and fast, those under the age of 30 won’t give us a second look.