For all the wrong in the world, we live in times of progress. Yes, the age of information has propelled us forward, yet we find ourselves at an inflection point. Some look to our institutions and corporations for direction, while others remember their failures and choose to distrust their motives and methods.
Regardless of where you stand, we tend to overlook that these institutions are made of individuals like us. Human beings who are bound by policies & procedures, struggling to keep their income, and drained, much like their phones’ battery, by the time 6pm rolls around.
We can complain about broken organizations all day long. But the only way for a culture to change is for the people to lead it. So why not aim to do better? As a result the collective will improve.
Here’s a list of ideas to improve your organization from its core (the individual), and promote a culture shift towards an even better future.
Train someone to replace you
Many people live in a state of fear that someone will come along to replace them. That fear often drives them to play dirty politics and keep the secrets to their success just that...secret. But where does that get the organization as a whole?
Sharing what you know works just as well for seniors as for juniors. Your team will function better as a result, creating positive internal PR for both you and your department. Don’t underestimate what it could lead to externally. There are benefits often realized years later and jobs later in one's career.
Give someone who doesn’t look like you opportunity
Recently companies established internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and signed pledges to hire more men and women of color to address issues with promotion and wage disparity. Often it feels more like companies are treating recruiting diverse talent as an issue of compliance and risk mitigation, not as a business opportunity.
In a world where companies are hiring people based on pattern-matching or outdated hiring practices, how do you identify, vet, and create a pool of talent that’s not only great at what they do, but are also diverse: not only in terms of race or gender, but diversity of thought, backgrounds, and experiences?
Take a risk on someone who doesn’t look, dress, or sound like you. According to McKinsey, ethnically diverse organizations are more likely to exceed industry financial return metrics. The biggest risk might be hiring in a bubble, sacrificing productivity and performance for comfort or status. To dig deeper into this, check out the insightful Blackpaper, published by Black Freelancer.
Forgive a mistake
It’s easy to hold a grudge for a mistake that might have cost you something valuable (i.e. commission, promotion, recognition, reputation), and your grievance isn’t unwarranted. But you need to let go. Use it as a learning opportunity, figure out what could have been done better...and move on. People will always make mistakes and you don’t want to create a culture of fear or recrimination.
Sacrifice perfection for delegation
You simply do not have the mental bandwidth, enough hours in the day, or breadth of expertise to do it all. Relying on support from colleagues is all you have. Don’t forget that a delegator can also be an editor, coach, and advisor. And you never know...they might end up doing it better than you.
Give trust before it’s earned
Forget your assumptions and remember we can all be influenced by our biases. Choosing to trust someone makes them feel valued and instills confidence in that person. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they are capable of.
Share the wealth
As technology advances so do the opportunities to build organizations in a way that’s far more equitable for people across the organizational hierarchy. For instance the decentralized and interconnected nature of the blockchain allows for individuals to have ownership of what they help build. Tokens can be rewarded to employees, contractors, and clients to incentivize productive business activities, influence product/service decisions and improvements as well as allow for new investment opportunities to build long lasting (generational) wealth.
You have power to improve the world, but it starts very small from within. Our institutions must improve, and they will if we start to change our approach. Achieving fairness and equality doesn’t start with legislation, it starts with you...it starts with us.
What are we doing to build a socially conscious culture?
The Lawtrades team is committed to build a more equitable future through new ways of working, offering a number of legal engagements to suit different schedules. This allows our talent network to maintain a happy and healthy work-life balance. We also invest in our employees’ well-being and offer generous benefits. Our full-time contractors are offered Slavic 401(k), along with health, dental and vision coverage. We want our employees to do what they love, without having to worry too much about the rest!
Our talent platform is diverse with over 55% of our network identifying as women and 37% racial/ethnic minorities. And for those companies and hiring managers truly committed to building diverse teams we recommend Black Freelancer - an inspirational global platform for Black professionals to build community, showcase their work, and take ownership in the digital economy...check it out here!