It’s “The Great Reckoning”. Not a Reshuffle or Resignation. A Reckoning.
The pandemic thrust organizations toward transforming work in a way that elevates our people. Let’s name the truths that really got us here, so we don’t waste the opportunity that follows
Reshuffle – reorganize or change the positions of
Resign – voluntarily leave a job or position
Reckon – to avenge or punish for past mistakes and misdeeds
If you looked at nothing more than VC updates, ecommerce figures, and subscription services, well, you’d think we were living at one of the most extraordinary times for businesses in our nation’s history.
You’d also be wrong.
That’s the thing. What you believe to be true always starts with where you choose to look, and more powerfully, what you choose as your frame of reference.
For example …
According to the Pew Research Center, on average, Americans have less wealth today than they did in 1998. If you hear this, you think Americans have stagnated.
On average, the wealthiest third of Americans have seen their incomes increase from $344,100 to $848,400 while the middle third have seen their incomes rise from $102,000 to a more modest $115,200. If you hear this, you think Americans are seeing varying levels of growth.
On average, the poorest third of Americans have seen their incomes decline from $12,300 in 1983 to $11,300 in 2016. If you hear this, you realize that the richest are getting richer faster at the expense of the poorest among us.
What you believe to be true always starts with where you choose to look, and more powerfully, what you choose as your frame of reference.
If you want to believe we’re in the midst of “The Great Reshuffle” or “The Great Resignation”, that’s what you’ll believe.
Again, you’ll also be dead wrong.
The Hard Truth About the Great Resignation …
It’s Not One
The headlines today are pushing the concept of a massive resignation, a massive reshuffling of the workforce. Both of those statements and categorizations are massive understatements.
If you focus on current actions without context, it’s easy to paint a picture of something modest or even iterative — slap “Great” in front of it and it seems more forceful.
Most companies, most economies, likely want us to see what’s happening as an eye opening experience and a shift in priorities as a result of the pandemic because they don’t have to change how they work. Instead of hard truths, they look for excuses and reasons not to change, which leads us to narratives like:
“People valued their work-life balance more.”
“People had more time with their families and realized the value of quality time.”
“People understood the fragility of life and elevated the pursuit of happiness.”
Sure. All of the above are true. But the pandemic didn’t enlighten people as much as it became the final straw.
The pandemic didn’t open people’s eyes. It broke their backs.
What we’re seeing today is not an understated reshuffling, a modest resignation.
It’s a mother f*cking reckoning.
And it’s about time.
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