The culture within a company largely determines how much employees enjoy their work. This is true even among database experts. Talking about more than just work – e.g. family, tv-series – creates a common energy that sets off a chain reaction, leading to more job satisfaction and better results. After all, work shouldn't become too much like work, right?
In the ideal case, a conscious company that values employee engagement has an ‘empty center’. By an ‘empty center’ I mean an open-minded management that knows how to listen well. The management offers its employees the space to develop themselves, based on their own talents and inspiration from the market and customers. This ‘empty center’ becomes a source of opportunities. The trick is to continually create an effective connection between what is yours and what others bring to you, without prejudice or standard reflexes. At OptimaData I have experienced that conscious, empty center. As long as you are ‘empty enough’, you will not exclude anything and you will see lots of possibilities.
When you work with, in or near a conscious 'empty center' you get energy. But what is that concept, energy? Suppose you are doing something that you find challenging. That can be quite stressful. But sometimes there suddenly comes a breakthrough, a moment where you know you can do it and that you are sharp and equipped enough to take on the task. Then all of a sudden it happens naturally and you bring the roof down. We are full of enthusiasm and feel at the top of our game the moment we experience it. I like to make the comparison with my sons when they are on the soccer field: they want nothing more than to score! If they don't succeed, they don't need their dad to scream at them, but they do need a team and trainers to help them along. Let's give the child in ourselves also space and go for who we are and what we are capable of. Together. That’s energy!
Have a spirit of innovation
At OptimaData we are often involved with innovation. We don’t have a separate innovation department though. We could of course set up such a department, but if you don't create the environment in which that department fits, it won't work. In order to grow together, personally and as a company, we must ensure that our whole culture has a spirit of innovation. We must encourage innovation in every place, assure people that failure is allowed and sometimes even required, and respond to ideas in a constructive manner. This keeps the team inspired and the ideas coming. It energizes the team, makes us a more fun company that offers a lot of opportunities, and ensures that we continue to promote innovation.
Many elements are needed
So, a lot of elements are needed to achieve innovation, such as the freedom to speak and the openness to failure. As a human being, you also have to dare to fail. So it is quite difficult, very difficult that there is often talk of an innovation myth. Beautiful! Let it be so and have a spirit of: I've never done it before so I think I can do it.
Synchronicity continues to amaze
My colleagues use their time mainly to get on the same page, to align their worlds of experience and respond to each other in a completely relaxed way. To pool their energy. They do this by talking not only about work, but also about things like their family or tv-series. This creates a common energy that sets off a chain reaction. The result is that there is almost always an effective solution at the right time. Nice, but is there an explanation? I cannot explain it scientifically. But, trusting my experience, I dare to claim that joint creativity increases enormously when time is taken to synchronize energy and thoughts. ‘Work should not resemble work too much’ is a phrase that regularly echoes through our beautiful office.
Want to talk more about this?
Are you a smart database expert and does an open culture like this appeal to you? Then I'd like to talk to you. Send me an email or call me on 06 58 72 10 70 and we'll plan something.