A Culture of Abundance.
I read an interesting article from Fast Company, “Are You Hiring and Breeding Greedy and Selfish Employees?” The (almost absurdly) Greedy and/or Selfish behavior listed included:
- Often ask for help from colleagues but rarely return the favor.
- See their peers as competitors, even “the enemy.”
- Don’t waste time teaching or mentoring others.
To which I responded:
I work with improvisers and am married to an improviser. Comedy from thin air is our business, and as such we live and die by each other. Teamwork is our currency - Ensemble our god. Years of improv training and performance have reinforced Partner First. And it works! If everyone is looking out for everyone else - everybody gets taken care of.
Sound artsy-fartsy? Ethereal? Ideallistic and impractical? A non-improvising friend and long-time business owner introduced me to the idea of A Culture of Abundance. His (somewhat paraphrased) analogy:
If I put out a cake in the cafe and tell everyone to have at it, it’ll be gone in a matter of seconds. Like piranha on a cow carcass. But, if I put out a cake every day it won’t take long before everyone realizes they don’t have to punch each other in the throat for a free slice of cake. It’s here everyday - there will be cake tomorrow.
If you’re holding fast to the idea that for someone to succeed everyone else must fail (within your own company and/or team, no less!), then Yes, you are hiring Greedy and Selfish employees. And Yes, you are rewarding them.
To take this a step further, can you create an external Culture of Abundance?
Charna Halpern is the owner of the iO Theater (formerly ImprovOlympic), a wonderful comedy theater at which I perform and coach. The signature performance piece at iO is an improvisational form called the Harold, developed by improv demigod Del Close. Del passed away in 1999, and many years later the Harold is performed (with varying degrees of proficiency) all over the world. But rather than waste time and energy blocking kids in Corpus Christi, TX or Antibes, France (look it up) from performing Del’s labor-of-love, Charna has made sure that her theater, iO Theater, is THE one and only place to truly learn this amazing art form. The Source. Regardless of their improv experience elsewhere, Ponce de Leons from all over the world flock to Chicago to drink from iO Theater’s fountain.
This has inspired me to be the absolute best, and therefore feel confident in giving freely of my time and ideas; to create A Culture of Abundance. Challenge yourself to do the same?