Life Coach Magazine

Am I Just a Cynic?

By Macnelliebus1 @macnelliebus

Well, yes.  But listen…

I’m freelancing at the moment so have removed myself from having to deal with buying into or challenging the values systems of organisations I work for.  To some degree I can choose who I work with and not being a employee gives me the autonomy and distance I like.

There’s a lot of talk in organisations about named core values and often another set of values which represent the underlying values and beliefs of, typically, those with power and those with less.  At one level the open discussion of values is healthy and useful.  At another it can feel like an intrusion into our personal lives.

I’m heartily sick of old style capitalism, interested in new models of working and am in the middle of reading Will McInnes’ Culture Shock.  Here’s a little section on Zappos.  Zappos sell shoes and are often held up as a model for the brave new way of working.  One of Zappos ten Family Core Values is ‘Create Fun and A Little Weirdness’.  McInnes goes on to say “What could be further from conventional brainwashing about how people should behave at work?  We don’t want you to be ‘professional’, we want you to be WEIRD”.  He presents this as a good thing.

I used to be in his camp.  I loved Daniel Pink’s Drive and was thrilled when companies I worked for started talking about values.  Now, I’m troubled by it.  I couldn’t work for Zappos.  You’re telling me if I’m not weird in that special Zappos way, I can’t work for you?  I think it’s telling that McInnes uses the word brainwashing.  Are we replacing the old version with a new shiny version of what amounts to the same thing?  Only smilier?

Obviously I don’t have the answer.  As it the way with cynics, I’m a romantic at heart and will keep looking.  And reading the rest of the book.  We live in interesting times.


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