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Corporate Rebels: driving disrupting culture change

Yesterday I joined the Corporate Rebel event in Milan, organized by Primate. The story of Pim and Joost, the two founders of this “movement” is interesting: “Back in January 2016, we quit our corporate jobs. Like most people, we worked in outdated workplaces characterized by inertia, bureaucracy and a lack of motivation. We simply couldn’t accept that the world of work – for far too many – is a place full of misery and despair.”

A feeling shared by too many, considering the data that they have been using as the basis of their work: Gallup’s ‘State of the Global Workplace’ from 2017. If only 15% of people at work is genuinely engaged, what are the others thinking?

Their motto “to make work more fun” actually hides something more than just fun. They compiled a “Bucket List” of engaging workplaces to visit and thinker to interview. And went on a road trip around the world to discover what’s making these places unique. Without a background in management or HR, they have been able to bring an “outside-in” perspective on observing the world of work, that is precious.

Through these visits, they have assembled their observation and distilled what they defined as the “8 trends” that help to form successful and innovative workplaces. 

Fig.1: The Eight Trends. Source: Corporate Rebels

Individually speaking, these are not entirely new observation, and you can track a lot of these in the work of many writers and management thinkers. What’s good is the observation of these together, in their interrelation. They do create an aggregated level of consistency that can drive together real transformation.

The conference itself was exciting also because of the exchange of views with the other participants (about 50 from all over Italy). Not just from HR, from different industries, showing there’s an appetite for workplace transformation beyond pure make-ups.

The idea of building a grassroots movement that can be the change has been appealing to me from the first time I met the blog of Corporate Rebels. And I think their mission to drive a new thought process is essential. Also, their recent review of their website, which is now more focused on driving engagement of the “rebels” around the world, is in a right direction.

So, let’s all follow and be more rebel also at work. What do you think?

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