Generally at work, it's not okay to sit on the sidelines and disengage from the action of production; read, putting together products that upon delivery sustain the organization in some way. In some ways, the day-to-day work of the operation is a distraction to fundamentally reshaping how management accomplishes it's aims. It's always easier to continue doing what you normally do than engage in some kind of Community or Group driven by passion, particularly if it's mission runs counter to the culture or status quo.
My thinking on the concepts of sedentary voyeurism and the spectator mindset is relatively new and raw (in that, I haven't sat with the ideas long enough to prove that this exists in anyway). Even so, as we become comfortable supplanting action with watching and content to simply watch away our personal lives, we can become addicted to the instant or not so instant gratification that voyeurism offers. This may (or may not) lead us to become complacent at work as we become more readily disinclined to place ourselves out side our comfort zones, which inevitably, jumping into communities of passion in work-spaces can be.
In other words, it's much easier to sit on the sidelines, spectate in a sedentary way because jumping into and joining a CoP that aims to disassemble the dominating patterns of behavior and enable new modes of management has a higher risk to reward ratio that prevents people from even stepping into the arena. When it comes to challenging the existing paradigm for management in America, what should we do? Leave it to the Professionals? Hire a team of outside consultants? Or do it yourselves? As people become accustom, perhaps even addicted to sedentary voyeurism, it may trap them in a spectator mindset that keeps people (voluntarily & willfully) out of a game that they really need to engage in. Instead of an "all-hands-in" game plan, the spectator mindset leaves organizations with the classic us v. them operand. This invariably leads to bigger questions about how to defeat this barrier, and I'll be curious to hear what others think about the whole issue.
- Step 1 - Recognize that you have a problem
- Step 2 - Exercise what ever influence, sway, and leadership capacity you have to encourage a broad circle of involvement
- Step 3 - Provide incentive structures that reward engagement and problem solving rather than status quo, disabling behavior/culture
- Step 4 - Stop rewarding behavior that contributes negatively to capacity building
- Step 5 - Make your mission to reinvent managerial structures public
- Step 6 - Lever high energy personnel to help lift up those disinclined to participate in the discourse
- Step 7 - Embrace your introverts and don't mistake quite, thoughtful people for people who are unwilling or unable to participate
- Step 8 - Empower your introverts by giving them leadership authority and responsibility
- Step 9 - ...and just perhaps; if we defeat sedentary voyeurism in the workspace, we may be able to encourage active participation in society rather than feed a spectator mindset.
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Thanks for the comment. No offense taken.
One alternative thought on your line of thinking is that perhaps second mover status is easier and more justifiable to kick up org learning by inventing a better mouse trap. Apple is a good model for this. They weren't the first to invent an MP3 player. They weren't the first to invent the mobile handset, but they have indeed perfected it.
What I'm now thinking about is that this mindset it the organizational equivalent of our natural human stasis of using only a small fraction of our brains at any given time. If we were to activate the energy of those massive numbers of sedentary, spectators with in an operation, much like if we could martial the full capacity of our brains, then our organizational selves would be substantially more healthy and perhaps smarter and more productive.
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