Through a sea of glistening blue (jeans), you spot a current of croissants and crullers rippling through the break room. Confetti streams the walls in tribute to Ralph from HR’s birthday and hints of nutmeg and cinnamon perfume the room. The mailboxes, disguised as Christmas stockings, contain beckoning paychecks and invitations to a weekend cocktail party celebrating the impressive numbers released from finance earlier in the week. A rare laughter swells out of Ethan Marcus’s office where a group is gathered watching viral YouTube gems. It must be Friday.
This phantasmagorical scene may be deep-fried in hyperbole but it still conveys an essential point of organizational culture: Fridays are different. Office norms loosen and a euphoric air envelops a once stale workplace. As a proactive, engaged leader, the challenge then becomes how to accommodate and engage in this culture shock, while simultaneously advancing an agenda that can’t break for Falafel Friday.
So how do you remain chill without exhausting air conditioning resources and freezing your agenda? A politically savvy leader knows how to infuse some productivity into the celebratory croissants. With your coalition partners congregated and their guards down, you have a unique opportunity to solidify the relationships that will ultimately mobilize your agenda. While your colleagues may burrow into their silos on Monday through Thursday, Friday pops these bubbles and allows information to waft around with the nutmeg already saturating the air.
Today is the shooting star of organizational phenomena; it’s a casual Friday preceding a long Labor Day weekend. My office is a ghost town and I think I saw a lonely hay bale blow by my desk 15 minutes ago. I have a creeping suspicion that my calendar is off and I’ve accidentally come into work on a Saturday or, more troubling, that I missed the meteorologists warnings to evacuate the area.
Nevertheless, I’m not squandering a perfectly fertile labor day. While I munch on abandoned pastries, I chat with coworkers and gain casual background on this office and my current campaigns. Without the pressured angst that pervades other labor days, I gain privileged insight into my organization. Meanwhile, I break to blog about this to the anonymous masses quietly celebrating their Labor Day Fridays in other office nooks and crannies. I hope this message reaches you in time before your day dissolves into a haze of lazy celebrations. If not, no worries. There’s always Monday.
Pic Credit: amirjina