Welcome, Humans

Welcome to A New Workplace!  Thanks for visiting.  I’m glad you’re here.

Let me start with a bit of sappy but honest appreciation: I sincerely respect and value your time and attention.  Your time is limited, and there are many millions of things competing for your eyeballs and mind and heart.  So thank you.

Since you’re spending a bit of your valuable time here, I should be polite and introduce myself.  My name is Gabe Clark, and there are few things I dread in life more than the invitation to “Tell me about yourself.”  But let’s at least start with some basics to get the ball rolling: I’m a guy with a family that I love deeply.  I do work that I enjoy at a very special company where I get to spend time with some of the best people I know.

That’s enough of that.  I would really prefer we get to know each other in a more natural way, through the ideas shared here and the interactions we have, rather than have me sit here and try to sell you a story about who I think I am (or, worse, who I want you to think I am).  But this really isn’t–or at least I don’t want it to be–about me anyway.  I’ll use the platform to share some of my thoughts about the workplace, but I recognize and try to consistently remind myself of the limits of my own perspective on this topic.

That being the case, I want to make one thing very clear: my aim isn’t to put myself out as an expert on a topic as complex as the nature of the workplace and how we can improve it.  I don’t claim to have answers about exactly what should be done, much less to have a recipe for how to do it.  I don’t know you, and I don’t know the dynamics of your workplace.  This is all part of a learning and growth process for each of us, me especially.  I’m striving to consistently do my best in my own life and work situation to help promote and create the kind of workplace that aligns with my values and my own sense of a what makes for a quality working environment.  If you’re reading this blog, I trust that you’re interested in doing the same.  I believe there’s opportunity for us all to better understand the complex issues and the powerful social, structural, behavioral, emotional, and psychological forces at play in these systems that make up our workplaces, to understand the relevant principles, and ultimately to take more effective action to promote change wherever we are.

I really hope this will become a place where people who share a passion about the quality of our workplaces and our working lives can engage with each other.  I hope that this will be a place where mutual respect prevails in order to provide the safety required for the kind of genuine dialogue that can lead to change.  (That’s a lot to expect of an online interaction, but this is a blog about improving the quality of our workplaces, so why cut short the idealism, right?)  I hope this engagement can take place in a way that helps increase our capacity to influence and to make a positive contribution to the places we spend so much of our waking hours for so much of our lives.

I’m obsessed with gaining a fuller understanding of what elements and what principles influence the nature and quality of our workplaces.  I’m fascinated by the prospect of how we can show up as more positive participants in determining the quality of our workplaces.  I’m passionate about both the key role that our working lives play in our overall quality of life and the role that the quality of our workplace plays in our ability to show up as our best selves and live with the meaning and purpose that are so important to our well being.

The topic is of vital importance in the modern world.  Our organizations have to be economically viable and operationally effective.  That goes without saying.  But that’s not enough.  We want these kinds of workplaces.  More and more people are starting to demand these kinds of workplaces.  We need workplaces that are hospitable environments for our humanity.  The human costs of expending the amount of time, energy, attention and effort that our working lives demand of us in a habitat that doesn’t contribute positively and meaningfully to the quality of our lives (or, perhaps more accurately, a habitat that isn’t conducive to us feeling that that we’re making a meaningful contribution) is too high.  I don’t believe that it has to be this way.  I believe we can do better.  I believe that our workplaces can be healthier.  I believe that each of us can do more to make our workplaces into what they can and ought to be.

Again, thanks for your time.  I’d love to connect, so please comment or drop me a line at gabriel_clark at hotmail dot com.