For ourselves and many of our friends and clients, the past few months have been challenging. While the times we’re living in call out for urgent action, the pull to reconnect with family and friends, and to take time to rest and recharge has been strong too. This tension has left many of us running on low energy and feeling stuck in the ‘urgency culture’.
In her article for Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS) Lydia Phillip describes urgency culture as “constantly in motion, always feeling behind, and in a state of overwhelm.” Lydia describes some ways to build workplace practice that resists the effects of urgency culture and supports wellbeing. We can be intentional in supporting rest and stop glorifying busyness.
For more about how leaders and organizations can support resiliency, We recommend this article: Building Resilient Organizations: Toward Joy and Durable Power in a Time of Crisis by Maurice Mitchell. It is a clear-eyed view of the challenges facing us, and a practical guide to building organizations that can meet the challenge and model the healthy relationships, respect and reciprocity required to make real change.
Mitchell outlines the common trends that shape leadership in the sector, unpacking themes such as neoliberalism, maximalism, anti-leadership attitudes, and anti-institutional sentiment. He reminds us that we are all subject to the problematic structures we are trying to dismantle.
Mitchell suggests we must build resilient organizations aligned with the change we want to see. We can start by asking and answering four key questions.
- Structural: Our organizational form, roles, and mission. What kind of vehicle are we?
- Ideological: Our organizational vision for the world. Where are we going?
- Emotional: The organization’s expectations of its people and people’s expectations of the organization in matters of emotional, physical, and spiritual care and well-being. How do we behave on the journey?
- Strategic: The organizational plan to advance toward this vision. How do we get there? Mitchell encourages organizations to construct a Theory of Change that articulates their intended impact, and their strategies for achieving it, and creates a framework for organizational accountability.
Check this discussion paper to help prompt conversations with your team.