By almost any measure, it’s better to have a happy and engaged workforce than the opposite. On a basic level, it’s nicer to interact with humans who are pleased with how they spend their productive hours. On a robotic level, an engaged workforce is a profitable workforce, driving innovation and contributing to general improvements across the board.
That’s all very well in principle. Ask any non-sociopathic corporate leader and they’ll agree that of course they want their team to be happy and engaged. But how do you make that happen in a way that doesn’t make the butcher’s paper-loathing cynics roll their eyes so hard they pull a muscle, because they’ve seen all this all-hat-and-no-cattle talk about cultural change before?
Especially the INTJs – they’re super judgemental.
And so, we have Spark the Change, an international movement that’s sparking in Melbourne this May for a full-day conference on finding meaning and purpose in work (they’ll probably discuss other things, too, even if they did knock back my workshop on queen bees and drones as a conceptual model).
Aimed at people who work with people, Spark the Change is a great opportunity to bounce your management ideas off other organisational thinkers, whether you agree wholeheartedly with unsiloed openness or solemnly believe basing a company’s structure on apiary principles is ridiculous. There’s a diverse range of speakers and facilitators from varied backgrounds and disciplines, which means you can return to your hive having successfully cross-pollinated.
But it doesn’t stop there – otherwise the eye-muscle pullers win. Once you get back to your organisation, it isn’t enough to deliver a short speech to your team about what you learned and get back to business as usual. Change is difficult, and cultural change is one of the hardest things to achieve with any longevity. Fortunately, you can go into Spark the Change knowing this, and set out to make a bunch of new contacts who are going to be in the same boat as you.
To be honest, it doesn’t matter which field you work in, or where you work. Not because they’re spruiking panacea solutions to HR issues, but because the people you’ll speak to, argue with and steal honey from are all interested in what makes people tick – and how to harness the internal motivations of our future workforce to reach mutually beneficial goals. These are issues that go beyond day-to-day workflows or institutional policies on charitable deeds.
Let’s just say there’s a lot of buzz around this conference.