Wonders in Hyperland
We did a workshop with the Delhaize group. And to be perfectly frank; what could I ever expect a food retailer to teach me? What ever could they do a workshop on?
What a silly blonde I am , and a prejudiced one too! The workshop was on leadership, and we sat in our groups (the ones we were divided into at the beginning of this module) and each group was assigned one leadership college student each. The students were vice presidents and CEO's from Delhaize Group, and they came from all over the world. To us, and to do a workshop with us! That was an amazing feeling, for both sides I'd guess.
My groups leadeship college student was Tod. And our first assignment was to sit down, close our eyes and fantasize about our perfect dream working place. Then we were to specify our "I want" and "I see" on a long list. The group took Tod, papers and pens outside and we sat down in the late summer sun and discussed our opinions of a perfect working place. Tod was an excellent listener (I hope that his employees will use that resource!) and together we managed to downsize all our needs into two very specific words that were the most important to us:
To visualise this Augut and Sebastian did a great illustration of a surfer, surfing with a laptop in his hands.
Why this, then?
With flexibility I mean that I want the office to be a home base that I have access to 24/7 so that I can choose myself when I want to work. All people have different needs and have their own diurnal rythm, and I need to be able to adapt my working hours to when I'm most productive.
With mobility, I want to be able to ring work home, or to a park, or abroad or wherever I want to go. Bring my office with me, or keep it online for easy access from where ever I'm at.
With these ideas comes a lot of responsibility and the need for communication skills. I need to have good contact with my colleagues and customers so that if needed, I will be able to handle changes at work even if I'm not at the office. Or that I can work more one day if I'm in a good work flow and come in late or even take the next day off.
To me this would require constant availability and access to all employees, that there would be some kind of personal schedule online so that i always can update and let everyone know where I'm at or what I plan. Or book a meeting with me.
As long as the work is done in time and budget I don't see the need for fixed working hours. I still want and feel a need for regular meetings and checks that everything is going according to time plan and to get information, but an open and easy way is essential. Invisible company structures or even a flat organisation where everyone is treated evenly (even though people with authority still make the descisions) and information is available for everyone.
Health benefits, insurances and paid vacation are also essential, but to me so obvious and natural I don't even feel I should need to bring that subject to the surface. Though, I must say, we did speak a lot of it during the workshop.
To summarize everything we spoke of is so hard, but I think I got the essentials. At least of what I spoke of, and that is what I want to be able too look back at when enough time has passed.
To spend a day with Delhaize was terrific, they were all so open and nice. I really wish that they will take the workshop with them and that they will be able to use this. And listen to their employees, because I bet they would have said exactly the same as us.