The speed of change in internal organizational environments is not keeping up with the speed of change in external organizational environments. This disconnect foretells a collapse of the internal/external organizational ecosystem. And you personally will feel the pain.
The impact of such a collapse can have devastating impacts on social, economic, political, and ecological conditions. Why? Simply because employees in the workplace who are burned out, bummed out, and generally demoralized due to debilitating management systems and processes and a failure of leadership exist in a stormy workplace climate. This climate prevents them from adequately dealing with external environmental pressures including technological, social, economic, and yes…climate change.
My Integrated Change Cycle shows the organizational ecosystem in action. Rapidly spinning around the outside are the familar and interconnected changing environmental factors of demography, economics, technology, news and social media, society and culture, and of course climate change.
Moving sluggishly inside are the internal environmental factors of corporate culture, organizational structures, and the various systems and processes that impact the workplace climate. Together these interconnected factors impact the quality of corporate actions both for the outside world and for employees. When the inside can’t keep up with the outside the ecosystem collapses. Which means a collapse of social, economic, technological and other key factors within the external environment.
Check out the freehand circles on the Integrated Change Cycle. Our news and social media and public awareness is flooded with rightful concerns about “climate change” whose effect is intertwined with all other factors on the external wheel. This is topline, fashionable fear. Now check out my freehand circle around the organizational internal “climate” that includes job satisfaction, morale, and basically how our workplace stress and emotional health is doing. This version of a “climate” is in devastating condition: Huge storms, hundreds of thousands suffering, and things just keep getting worse.
- Almost half of all Canadian federal government employees agree that competing or constantly changing priorities impact their level of workplace stress (2018 Public Service Employee survey).
- 20% of all Canadians experience a mental health problem or illness each year, equating to 500,000 employees unable to work every week due to mental health problems or illnesses (2018 Mental Health Commission of Canada).
- “… fewer employers demonstrate commitment by having formal wellness strategies or wellness policies.” (Conference Board of Canada, 2017)
- “Only 1 in 5 (of employees) believe the system is working for them” (2019 Edelman Trust Barometer).
- In my recent analysis of almost 100,000 employees working for the Canadian federal government less than half or barely half of the employees agreed that they worked in a “psychologically healthy workplace.” Bear in mind that these employees are tasked with directly dealing with changes to external environment conditions that affect your personal safety and wellbeing.
Yes, climate change and many other factors accelerating in the external environmental cycle are vital and important to address. But unless organizations and all of us pay as much attention to the internal workplace climate that external cycle will soon turn into a cyclone of devastating impact on the internal cycle.