Sometimes, You Need a Little Different Perspective About Your Workforce

Perspective on the workforce seems more necessary now than ever as the market enters another downward cycle yet companies have already cut their workforce to the bone. In such an atmosphere, it’s important to keep perspective – especially these two facets.

Seth Godin recently told this story about the Rolling Stones:

Keith Richards tells a great story about Charlie Watts, legendary drummer for the Stones.

After a night of drinking, Mick saw Charlie asleep and yelled, “Is that my drummer? Why don’t you get your arse down here?”

Richards continues, “Charlie got dressed in a Savile Row suit, tie, shoes, shaved, came down, grabbed him and went boom! Don’t ever call me ‘your drummer’ again. You’re my … singer.”

No drums, no Stones. Who’s playing the drums in your shop?

It’s a great story as a reminder that – though the front-man singer in the band is perhaps the most well known – those in the background (quite literally in the case of the drummer) are the ones that make the group, well, a group. Yet, the same would be true if only Charlie Watts were on stage. Each needed the other, as well as the rest of the band and crew, to be the Rolling Stones.

A manager can lead all he wants, but without a team of people to lead to complete projects of value to the market, what’s the point? Similarly, employees do need direction and leadership. Companies need both managers and employees.

Perspective on how work gets done

A friend showed me this video of 3-D Dodgeball – the schoolyard game taken to the next level by being played on trampolines.

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Adding extreme height as well as vertical viewpoints only possible while flying through the air adds more elements of perspective on the game – on targets as well as how to avoid being the target.

Think what adding a different level of perspective could do to a project at work. Do you give your employees permission to look at a problem differently to perhaps arrive at a novel solution? Or does management insist on “this is the way we’ve always done it?”

How could your team or organization benefit from additional perspective?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at


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