Jorge Ponga
Humanologo Consulting
Expert Contributor

Waiting Room: A Life Analogy

By Jorge Ponga | Thu, 12/03/2020 - 13:00

We clearly live in unprecedented times, and thinking about the analogy of a "waiting room" makes sense in almost every aspect of our daily lives. I am sure that we are in waiting or in transition of an important stage in our individual, family, work and societal environment.

The waiting room in a hospital causes us anxiety but it is in search of health or from the perspective of the arrival of a being to this world. In the waiting room of the airport, we anticipate the flight that will take us on the planned trip of pleasure, where we will discover unexplored and fascinating places, or that business trip that implies uncertainty but at the same time a great possible reward for the business that we will close or the experiences that we will put in our suitcase.

The Black Death (bubonic plague) that cruelly attacked Europe and the ancient world in the mid-1300s was the waiting room for a splendid renaissance that led us to expose art in its various expressions, to explore the new world or to lay the foundations of the unknown as Da Vinci did in resplendent Italy.

I am convinced that this waiting room is preparing us for deep and lasting change as individuals and society. No one has said that the transit across this bridge would be easy and without pain, loss or implicit effort. But what is the impact? What will change? What do we have or do I have to do in particular? Am I ready?

Many doubts and fears are naturally raised. The impact is manifested in many feelings, including uncertainty, disbelief but also encourages reflection and reinvention of ourselves and our environment, among other aspects.

The change is brutal but great, we are discovering ourselves in all senses, we see the worst and the best of us and of society at the same time, including our organizations. Leaders have the unique opportunity to reinvent themselves, to approach teams, to simply ask: How are you? How do you feel? To get to know each other. To think not only about the individual, but to see beyond, in the collective. How to be functionally effective at home, in the family. To be genuinely interested in the objectives of my colleagues in my work environment. To understand the expected business results and where we are as an organization; how I contribute personally and how to take the next step "together." It is great time to analyze individual goals and shared objectives.

What we "have to do" is the great opportunity to explore aspects such as agility on a daily basis, in quickly but assertively defining what I do and what I don't invest my energy and time in.

Let's live a moment of autonomy in our environment. Planning is good but executing is better, but let's leave enough space to learn from the error and the implicit growth it involves. It is a great moment of development in all senses. Let's exploit learning in the flow of life, home and our professional environment.

The evolution of the organizational culture is booming right now. There is talk of hybrid cultures in organizations. Collaboration and flexibility, what a pair. Together and willing. Combinations desired in organizational groups. Initiative and innovation. Let's formally start the extinction of working in silos and think about "us." Could it be that the real pandemic lies in putting my own interests and advancing with them at all costs? Let's really think about the environment, the conscious individual, the social enterprise, the human society.

The practical issues involved in moving from my perspective go hand in hand with realigning the business strategy with all the company's arteries to a new reality and thinking about the human being. Evolving roles and responsibilities and their relationship with the resulting operating model, as well as the agile and adaptable organizational structure that accompanies it.

Rethink the company's culture and its connection with the environment. More and more we will see cultural traits that in a combined way overlap the interests of our organization's workforce with the type of work and physical space renewed. We cannot return to the immediate past.

It is essential to develop a model for setting, measuring and rewarding objectives that will lead to the expected results and behaviors. There needs to be a balance between group and individual achievement, but above all, linked to key business indicators, without forgetting the Social Enterprise course.

In short, it's a great time to reinvent ourselves in every way. Don't miss your chance and act immediately.

Photo by:   Jorge Ponga