Current State

Technology, pandemics, social and political dynamics, and disruptive business models are fundamentally changing the nature of work and the relationships between people and the work we perform. While nobody knows for certain how work will evolve into the future, we do know that leadership strategies and organizational cultures will also evolve as we connect the roles and relationships of people to these new work dynamics.

Adding to these changes, we now have decades of experience and lessons learned through our efforts in Lean thinking and the building of business cultures focused on continuous improvement. While there have been many lessons learned, we know for certain that the future of work will have a focus of One System – One Team.

North America is struggling with workforce issues relative to workforce engagement at many levels. And the key issues are with all the people that actually get stuff done – the people that add true value and are a critical part of the team.

Yet, do organizations even see these team members as an important part of the team? Just think of all the terms we use: The Blue Collar workers, the hourly team members, the non-exempt employee and now the latest term post covid is Front Line Worker …which at least has a ring of dignity and respect to it because it recognizes the true importance and meaningfulness of the work.

And now the tables have turned. People have decided not to stand for it any longer. People have decided to take their own lives into their own hands.

And we have learned that this is not simply an issue of compensation. This is about people not being part of a meaningful work environment. That is, people need to see meaning in what they do and who they do it for. This is about fundamental principles and values of Dignity, Respect, and Meaningfulness.

Yet, this is nothing new. The core purpose of a business enterprise is not to create meaningfulness work environments but rather to create shareholder value. But what happens when you cannot create shareholder value because you cannot get orders out the door because you have nobody working in the warehouse?

In this example, there is a direct causal relationship between shareholder value and creating a meaningful work environment.

Therefore, we need to lead the way to creating meaningful environments.

This starts with organizations, which means it starts with leadership structures, as an organization is nothing more than its culture, and the culture is nothing more than a function of leadership behaviors and how decisions are made within an organization.

TrailPaths is a community that wants to help the way to developing these meaningful environments.