Everyone knows that the speed of change has gone through the roof these days, but that’s not precisely what I’m talking about when I suggest you’re falling behind. I’m talking about management.
I don’t think people realize that management–those assumptions we hold about how you need to run things inside organizations in order to be successful–is starting to change at a rapid pace. This is really new, because for the last 100 years, management has been changing at approximately the pace of a glacier. As in, it changes, but you can’t particularly see the change because it happens so slowly.
But not any more. The changes are starting to come quick, and as we suggest in our upcoming book, that pace is not going to slow down. Here’s some of the latest evidence.
This post on LinkedIn by Mathias Meyer explains why he has started REQUIRING employees to take vacation. You read that right–he has a MINIMUM vacation policy (not a maximum), where all employees MUST take 25 days off (yes, 5 weeks), and they are paid.
My entire working career, it was a given that if you got a job, then you “earned” vacation days, typically starting at two weeks (10 days) and then moving upward the longer you stayed with a company. Over the last couple of years, I was noticing the number of companies that were doing away with that policy and giving unlimited vacation. No more tracking days. Just take vacation whenever you want for as long as you want. As long as you’re getting the job done, then we don’t need limits.
This idea by itself is hard for a lot of companies to swallow. What if employees abuse the policy? Now there’s no reason for them to stay longer at your company! Most organizations seem to be staying with the traditional route. Limit the days off, force people to work, and give them an extra day off per year for working there.
But here’s the new speed of change: Meyer adopted an open vacation policy for his company–people could take off as many days as they wanted–and has already evolved it. He realized that leaving it open meant that people took LESS vacation and there was pressure NOT to be that guy who took the most. The result was burnout, and as he said in the article, “vacation is cheaper than severance and training.”
This is an example of what Maddie and I write about in Chapter 3 of the new book. It’s a digital mindset, where you focus on meeting the needs of the customer, which, in the case of management, is the employee. Smart companies are doing this, and attracting the very best talent in the process, while the rest of us are figuring out ways to claim more comp time so we can amass more vacation days. On which side of this trend do you really want to be?