Don’t Quit Quietly……engage euphorically!
Hands up all the “quiet quitters” out there. Or more likely hands-down as I believe the general idea is not to draw attention to yourself.
For all the TikTok generation out there (and I don’t consider myself one of them), the last couple of months has seen the concept of “quiet quitting” going from totally unknown to pretty much viral. This is a different phenomenon from the Great Resignation which I wrote about in the February Bullog. Indeed, it’s not actually quitting your job at all! It’s staying in your current job but doing the bare minimum required – no more overtime, no extracurricular voluntary work. Just going through the motions, turning up and leaving according to the hours you’re paid.
Plenty of commentators have pointed out that this isn’t such a new phenomenon. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, it’s really just about doing your job – doing what you’re paid to do. However, I do think there’s something different going on. We’ve seen over the last few decades the scope of individual roles increase unrecognizably. Corporations have been happy to enhance shareholder value by downsizing [polite term for sacking lots of people] while those who remain in their jobs – the “lucky” few – have seen their workload increase accordingly. Quiet quitting may just be these employees saying enough is enough!
When I think back to my 20 years with Accenture, I was contracted to work a 37.5 hour week – that’s what I was paid to do and yes, they paid well. However, I doubt I worked less than 50 hours during any week in that entire period and often much, much more. I say that with a sense of shame and regret now as opposed to with bravado.
One of the major drivers of this for at least 15 of these 20 years was that I had been lucky enough to have a strong sense of purpose in my work – I was leading the team that created their not-for-profit business unit, Accenture Development Partnerships, as many of you have read in my book (did I ever tell you I wrote a book?) 😉 In some small way I felt that I was leading a team of teams who were making the world a better place and that feeling is as addictive as any drug. Yes, I had become a workaholic, which isn’t great, even if you think you’re changing the world. Burnout affects all of us equally.
There is unlikely to be a panacea cure to this trend of quiet quitting. However, as someone who promotes the virtues of purpose driven intrapreneurship within organisations, I see that as certainly part of the solution. Intrapreneurs don’t work for their organisation – instead they work from their organisation. They see opportunities to drive change within their business, change which benefits people and planet alike. As opposed to quietly quitting they’re more likely to be euphorically engaged!
The days of buying loyalty through bigger bonuses are gone. Gen Y and Z crave meaning more than money. Therefore my advice to any of the business leaders out there who are concerned by this new quiet quitting and who feel that they’re not getting the pound of flesh from their diminished and burnt out workforce: Why not try greater empowerment and create the space and conditions for your people to thrive both individually and collectively? Not only will they be less likely to quit – they will be more likely to be inspired to create new business value above and beyond the scope of their roles.
Tasting your own medicine
The Golden Rule states “don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t do unto yourself”, or words to that effect. Well, I’ve been preaching the benefits of intensive deceleration retreats for some time now and during a fair chunk of September I had a taste of my own medicine.
Long story short, I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited on a three-year program called Inner Alchemy, which takes place at a retreat centre in Majorca and is funded by the Light-En Foundation. The program will involve a total of five trips each year to the new retreat centre sat in the beautiful mountains north of Palma. This was the third visit I made this year and was by far the longest and most intensive, totalling 16 days. The program requires that each participant cuts off entirely from technology and the outside world, refrains from alcohol (ouch) and there is no meat served, but instead the very best vegan cuisine from a team of fabulous chefs.
Make no mistake, this was no personal hardship Ayurvedic silent retreat but actually a fabulous experience involving lots of meditation, kundalini yoga, breathwork and learning from one of the last great living masters of her generation called Zulma Reyo, who has worked with the likes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I won’t say much more at this stage, but will update you in the future on my progress. Suffice to say that I would strongly encourage you to try a digital detox for a period of time. I thought it would be impossible, but it’s surprising how easy and truly invigorating it turned out to be. Like me, you may even discover the world doesn’t come to an end when you step out for a while.
Best of the rest……
September involved a number of presentations, both virtual but also I’m getting back into giving physical presentations which I certainly prefer. Twice a year I’m asked to give a presentation at one of the business schools in Geneva and enjoy talking about intrapreneurship to groups of students from around the world. I also joined some of our Craigberoch Cast in doing a couple of online events with corporate clients, bringing the magic of improv, artistry, music and meditation into their online worlds. I’m pleased to say the feedback has been tremendous and we’re getting more and more of these types of request.
I’ve continued to work with the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation on the Uplink Intrapreneurship Challenge that will be launched next week at Global Intrapreneurship Week from 10-14 October. I encourage those who are interested to sign up for the overall program which will involve a combination of virtual events and physical meet ups in different places all-round the globe. The challenge launch event itself will be next Tuesday 11th at 12pm. Whether you join or not, you should certainly consider entering the competition if you’re working on an exciting intrapreneurial program in your organisation. *** STOP PRESS*** I’ve just been offered 5 free places and will pass them on to Bullogers on a first come first served basis. Who’s up for it?
Last but not least, let me remind you all of our next Decelerator Lab in Scotland, running from the 7th to the 11th of November. We have a really great mixed group coming and only a few places left. Ping me directly or visit the website if you’re interested in knowing more.
On the personal front…….
I cannot write this edition of The Bullog without making mention of the sad passing of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was held in deep affection by many, whether monarchist or republican, UK-based or living elsewhere in the world. The accession of her son Prince Charles to become King Charles has meant that he must give up his Scottish titles to his son Prince William the new Prince of Wales. Amongst several Scottish titles he holds, Duke of Rothesay is arguably the most significant. Rothesay is the main town on the Isle of Bute, home of the Craigberoch Business Decelerator. It won’t come as a great surprise who I have in mind to invite for the opening of the new iconic building – hopefully not too far in the future.
Lastly, late September is the time of an annual pilgrimage to Majorca with a group of eight friends for a bit of golf in the sunshine before the cold of the winter sets in. The courses were absolutely stunning, even if the quality of the golf was not.
OK, that’s more than enough for now folks. If you enjoy this monthly ramble then do feel free to suggest others sign up here. Until next month,
* The Bullog = Bulloch + BlogMake sense? Not bulldog, nor is it bulls**t although I’ll let you be the judge of that! It’s a brief synopsis on recent articles, events and opinions from my world and the things that have caught my attention over the past few weeks.