Executive Education

MH3 —  August 30, 2012

Summer is over.

At this point my kids would shout, “Well, THANK-YOU Captain Obvious!”

But it is.

I know cause I froze my arse off last night at football practice for my youngest. I am talking at 7:00 PM I was freezing.

Of course maybe my arse was cold due to the fact that I had a colonoscopy yesterday. It certainly was empty! Okay too much information, but if you doubt me just Google Dulcolax and Picolax….
I also know that summer is over because nothing got done this week. Or at least it felt that way. Something about the Labour Day long weekend. Amazing how one final Monday off (with due apologies to Thanksgiving) can create a psychological wall in people’s minds. Somehow this is a slack week. Of course the people working this week won’t agree with me. But trust me, September is tomorrow… not in a week.


I can also tell summer is over because CFL games start to matter, NFL games become “regular”, and concerns over an NHL lockout are real. Unfortunately summer is over, because we have no Jays playoff run. Boy, I miss those days.
But let me ask you a question. Do you miss going back to school? Secretly, I think you do. Ironic, isn’t it? We spent two decades wishing we never had to go to school again. Pining for the days when we didn’t have teachers, principals, and schoolyard bullies controlling our lives. Dreading the scheduled exams, assignments, and Canada Fitness Test! Avoiding dateless proms (okay that’s me), the school nurse, and picture day.

But now?
I think we all crave to “use” our brains again. How many times have you heard this? Colleagues talking about going back to school some day. To stretch their brains. To exercise their intellectual powers. Frightening. Means they aren’t thinking at work. But sadly true.

Sometimes work becomes too routine. Too reactionary, too rational.

How do we create spontaneity, proactivity and irrationality in our workplace?

Maybe we should all go back to school. Or at least take the best part of school and incorporate it into our workplace.

Let’s start with recess. What a novel idea. We should ring a bell, put down our iPhones and laptops and head outside to play, scream, laugh. That would be a good way to shake up the day.
Let’s continue with lunch. No more eating at our desks. The teacher doesn’t want food all over the place. So let’s go to a different room and eat lunch. Together. If the family that eats together, stays together, imagine what would happen if you ate with your colleagues instead of with your email.

Now let’s throw in a little teaching. We got too much teaching when we were in school, but we don’t get nearly enough in the workplace. Lots of companies create “XYZCO University” and get themselves written up in ROB. But how many do it day-in and day-out?

Part of our teaching should be phys ed, and music and drama. A healthy workforce that can sing and dance. Well, wouldn’t that be an inspired workforce!

If your students are struggling maybe they need a tutor or a mentor. Perhaps a different teacher (manager) may produce better results. Or just an old fashioned butt kicking. Yes, I put that in writing!

I’m not sorry summer is over. Fall is my favourite season. Thanksgiving at the cottage. Football all over the place. No more mosquitos.

But most of all, I love the fact that everybody is BACK TO WORK!

 

2 responses to Executive Education

  1. Wow – love this blog (minus colonoscopy reference…*shudders*)…I feel you have challenged me, in an inspirational kinda way to be a better manager & build an amazing team!

    Lucky for me – I work at a school, so don’t have to choose!

    Thanks Mark – great post!

  2. I agree with Sheryl about the colonscopy reference – too much information.

    I couldn’t agree more about time to get back to work and tie to start stretching our intellects! It’s been a great hot and humid summer – but it’s time to get back to reality!