It takes a very big deal to get me out of bed before 8am. And yesterday morning was indeed a big deal. I was in the city at 7.15am, nervous-cited to be attending a seminar presented by one of my all-time favourite leadership thinkers – Dr Jason Fox.

The title of this Masterclass, presented by Inventium, was ‘How to create the greatest and best workplace. In the UNIVERSE’. Who doesn’t want to know how to do that? Jason co-presented with Dr Amantha Imber (that’s her in the picture), who is my new favourite person who I don’t really know but love. Amantha is the founder of Inventium an inductee into the Australian Business Women Hall of Fame and basically an innovation and culture genius.

The first question, of course, had to be, ‘how do you know you have the greatest and best workplace. IN THE UNIVERSE?’ – and the answer was simple – when your team answer yes to the question – ‘ is this the best place you’ve ever worked?’

Gets you thinking right? Are you in the best workplace you’ve ever been? How would your colleagues answer if asked? If it isn’t the best place ever, why not?

Most of all – how do you go about creating a workplace where people want to be at work. And better yet, want to be at work, to do work.

Be rest assured, the answer does not lay in a google-esque office set-up with gaming stations, ping pong tables and giant slides (although those are fun). The answer, of course is not a singular solution but does require a willingness to experiment, move past tradition, and really, meaningful trusting your people.

Progressive corporate concepts such as mentoring instead of managing, and the much hyped, ‘limitless leave’ at first glance seem counter-intuitive. Yet, if we let go of preconceived notions of the purpose of business and how to motivate – well you might find yourself reading ‘First, Let’s Fire All the Managers’ and nodding your head instead of thinking the world has gone mad.

What has me most excited about spending time experimenting with modern concepts of company culture, and how to create a workplace that allows innovation to thrive, is the potential to solve the issue of strata manager burn out. We work in a relatively young, and one would therefore assume, modern sector. Yet we lag in advancing past the way things have always been done. The sheer volume of work and responsibility on a strata managers shoulders has grown exponentially, yet the expectation that a strata manager can continue to be everything to everyone, well that hasn’t changed all that much.

But it can. It is so energising to consider, design and implement change that will attract and retain high-performing, innovative people to the sector. We can all be part of that shift to something new and sustainable. YOU can be that leader of change. Read. Listen and be inspired. Read some more. Start writing down anything that resonates with you, and ask questions about the stuff that doesn’t. Start that blue-print. Be ok that parts of it will fail. It’s an experiment after all.

Our 2019 mentoring program, launching in November (stay tuned for more information) is going to include lots of resources, and we will ask you to nominate in what area you want to be mentored, or mentor in. Leadership will be one area, and innovation another. I am SO excited to show you what we’re doing with the second installment of the WiS Mentoring Program. And yep, you can be assured resources will include links, quotes and advice of the progressive workplace type (plus much more). This is going to be something very special.

If you are interested in reading more on progressive workplaces and leadership I can highly recommend Jason’s book ‘How to Lead a Quest’ – which is endorsed by Seth Godin. And Amantha has a brand new pod-cast called ‘How I Work’ – her guests are out of this world and include Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress – and one of my all time favourite artists and thinkers – Amanda Palmer (talk about knowing you are in a room with your sort of people)!

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