what's at the center

Putting what matters "in the center"

I think the underlying issue is far more common than we realize. The thing that gets into our cultures and drives us to do more. And more. And more. The thing that leads us to burnout, and unhealthy stress, not to mention what we tend to call “lack of engagement.”

There are shifts happening in the world of work. The decisions we make during this time are likely to impact the “way things are” for years to come. I believe we’re being called to clarify what we center. By choosing just the work, we will get a certain outcome. And there is no doubt that some will choose that.

The Great Transaction

Why would people put coffee down as their #1 priority over, say, increased autonomy or mastery? My take is this: it's what is at the center of the relationship between the director and their employees. A better way to say this might be that it's what is at the center of a relationship between an an organization and its employees[1]. Here's another frame: there is a story that we are living in about what it means to be in relationship with our superiors, or the organization we work for. One way to look at that story: we are in a transactional relationship.

When we are in a transaction mindset, we are always in a negotiation. If I give you a coffee maker, will you do your jobs just a little better? Will you give a higher score on the survey next time? That's the deal that the director was making.