For years I have felt guilty, indulgent and impractical because of my love for process efficiency, well run meetings, thoughtful performance evaluations and organizational learning. I’ve spent years wondering what to do with this nerdy passion and years letting it sit in the background of my professional life, as “a” thing but not “the” thing. And that changes today. My name is Simone and I’m a management geek. I read my first management book when I was about twelve years old. Having recently moved in with my mother and I, my stepdad was cleaning out some of his boxes. And there it was, “Training and Workshops” a 1980’s book on how to give effective presentations. I still use some of the skills that I learned in that book.
Over the years, my dad and I would sit and talk about management, training and development, organizational behavior and how to lead teams of people. His interest stemmed from his time working in training and development at Kodak, back when Kodak was essentially Google. His enthusiasm for people and for productivity definitely inspired my own.
Between his love of process and organizational engineering essentially, and my mother’s integrity and work ethic, I was bound to be a “work person”. But for a long time, it was unclear what to do with this passion.
I’ve always felt a quiet pressure to declare my love for content – for programmatic work --- for a specific issue. It’s natural. In the social impact sector your tribe is much more determined by what you care about rather than what skills you use to have an impact. And it’s a consistent engagement with a single issue area that inspires trust and advances your career.
That was never my path. I’ve worked on LGBT issues, mental health, criminal justice, gender equity and teen pregnancy prevention. What has tied my career together for me has been a voracious appetite for organizational evaluation. In each job that I’ve held my attention is most captivated by reflecting on what makes the company tick, what the culture is – the inadequacies and opportunities for improvements. I construct science experiments in my mind’s eye, hypothesis that I seek to test and solutions that I yearn to confirm.
And after nearly 10 years of hoping for a chance to think holistically about an organizations well-being and success, I finally have it. And it’s been great. I’ve decided to start writing again to share some of the things that I contemplate in hopes of discovering that I’m not the only one who wants to see the social impact workplace evolve and take its management and organizational wellness seriously
Cheers to finding my tribe.
Simone The Management Geek