Under the Street Lights

What happens when old school and new school meet at the crossroads under street lights?

Old School says, “Don’t ask for improvement in your tasks or in the process – do you realise there’s a line of people outside the door wanting your job?” He motivates by intimidation and doesn’t say hi to everyone in the corridor.

New School comes along and lectures Old School, softly, by making it sound like an epiphany, “We need to make sure employees still have enough energy after work for their family lives. Employee experience is crucial to growth.” Since New School’s arrival, Old School is forced to create time in his calendar to acknowledge his minions. He is not her fan but pretends like nothing is changing. Even says so out loud during meetings, “I want to stress, nothing is changing!”

Insights that we read about as a business students decades ago are now finally starting to show at the workplace. Motivating both employees and customers to stay – now Old School is being taught why this is important. Like penguins in a line, the rest of us wobble along and nod our heads approvingly. Yes, this is how it should be! What took so long?

What took so long, indeed? Maybe we needed a pandemic to shake things up, to bring the corporate world to its knees. There was no choice but to trust employees do their best, even when they are at home. That was the hardest part, and once that was done, no rules applied anymore. The window of opportunity had opened.

Virtual teams doing abstract work. Behind these windows, someone sits and types away, while street lamps light up the mid-afternoon darkness. The collision of old and new happens silently, but we all notice it.

14 responses to “Under the Street Lights

  1. Love those street photos, the lights somewhere between illuminating and surveillance. Also love the ‘penguins in a line’ line. I see exactly what you’re talking about. In these situations, Old School likely ends up crabbing around at home harrumphing about the world going to hell in a handbasket.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice metaphor. Great photos as always.
    In my organization, I have Mrs. Old School who does everything to stop any progress. She doesn’t want to change, so she does everything she can do make others miserable while not changing herself. And people are tired of her being a problem so they give her whatever she wants. Like a spoiled child…

    Liked by 1 person

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