These past weeks in our global timeout has left me very sure of one thing: contemporary work life is broken. Not broken because of the pandemic, but rather, broken as revealed by the pandemic as we’re pushed to the brink. Clearly, typical work life structures are not designed to manage the overload of information and run our businesses well. They are not set up for dual career families and for sure, they are not solving for the unique issues most women face at the intersection of work and home. For all of us—men and women alike—this reality is getting in the way of creating the good life we want and deserve. Work was broken before and will continue to be unless we do something about it. These issues concern me deeply.
But, what does that have to do with my area of marketing strategy and capabilities?
It turns out, quite a lot.
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to clear the deck for noticing, synthesizing, and innovating for the customer when you don’t have the other crap in your life together. It’s hard to make well-informed strategic choices when you’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed. It’s hard to create winning experiences that wow the customer when you’re up-to-your-ears in tactics and don’t have time to figure out why you’re doing them in the first place. It’s impossible to create breakthrough disruption when so much of what we do requires clarity of thought and creativity of ideas, none of which we can do when there is no space left in our saturated brains. Moreover, we are often making decisions that impact the work life of scores of employees, many of whom do not have the same privilege and access to resources that we have as executives. There’s a lot at stake.
As contemporary workers living in a fast-moving, global, social and digital time, we never learned how to navigate a saturated life.Tweet
Saturation is seen as a problem to overcome, and we are in pursuit of that one perfect, calm day when everything is in order and our in-box is empty. Leadership and other corporate training programs may acknowledge work-life issues, but rarely do they help us deal with the challenges of saturation in a practical way. The only sustainable remedy seems to be an off-grid escape.
As women, we are told via bestsellers and women’s programs that we need to fix ourselves (lean in, own it, close the confidence gap, drop the ball, stop apologizing, break the 12 habits that hold you back), rather than fix the broken institutions that are poorly designed for today’s real life. Let’s face it: the in-person, ever-busy, always-on demands of today’s typical business workplace still favors a 1950s family structure where a husband works while a wife stays at home. That’s just not the make-up or reality of so many families these days.
Which is why I’ve started BeSaturated.com.
Through my doctoral research and decades of practical experience I’ve identified ways we can thrive in—not fight with—saturation, creating a good life for ourselves and our families. I’ve also discovered practices we can do with others to bring about the change needed in institutions and cultural norms. BeSaturated.com is intended to help us explore this new, much-needed conversation across genders.
Together, we can:
- Share interesting research and insight that shifts how we think about saturation.
- Exchange practical, real-world strategies and tools that can help us thrive in saturation.
- Engage in learning programs that can bring about change in our institutions and societal practices.
What would you like to talk about?