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What Shock Trauma Taught Me About Hybrid Work

October 5, 2023 SHIFT


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Picture this: 1968—an era of change, discovery, and challenges. 

Enter Dr. R Adams Cowley, MD. Not your average physician, he was a game changer in the truest sense. Laying the groundwork for the “Golden Hour” principle, he unveiled a truth most hadn’t considered - the first 60 minutes post-trauma could be the line between life and death. 

His solution? Fast track the victims straight to the heart of medical expertise via military helicopters. Time was of the essence, and he knew it.

But here's where it gets interesting. By 1970, his dream scaled up. Envisioning a Maryland where every soul had access to the best of medical care, he proposed a system financed by the state. A system that said medical aid wasn’t just for the elite; it was every individual's birthright.

Sounds pretty epic, right? But ah, there’s a twist. Making this dream a reality was, let’s just say, far from a leisurely walk in the park. To build this wonder, you needed a dream team, a Navy-SEAL-like team of warriors. 

His grand design rested on a fragile idea: the “voluntary cooperation” of a wide array of stakeholders - from doctors to government bureaucrats.

Read that again.

Can you even fathom orchestrating that diverse group into one mission, one team?

It's like trying to make cats and dogs break bread together.

But Dr. Cowley? That man was a game changer. He forged bridges, united visions, and emphasized the joy of doing rather than the obligation of doing.

Bridging the gap. 

Finding common ground. 

Getting everyone on board. 

If Dr. Cowley could make it happen in 1970, there’s hope for us yet in the age of hybrid work, right?

And the best part, the numbers speak for themselves. Shock Trauma boasts a 95% success rate.

How do I know?

Because once upon a time, they counted me in that percentage.
It was my senior year at Hopkins. The stadium? A pulsating hub of raw energy.

The moment? A nail-biting 4th and 2. 

The adrenaline, the passion, the preparation, everything culminated right then. I was the team’s shield, the outside linebacker. And as the opposition made their play, every lesson, every practice, every memory surged, pushing me to give my all.

But fate had other plans.

One off-balance move and the world blurred into a whirl of light and sound.From the roaring crowds to the hushed tones of medical professionals, my world transformed in a flash. I was in Shock Trauma, battling my sixth concussion and a pinched spinal cord.

I was lucky. Real lucky. The bark was worse than the bite. But it gave me a front-row seat to what real pressure is and how a workplace deals with it.

✨Pressure’s Two Faces:

Here’s the thing about pressure: It's like fire. It can forge the strongest steel or scorch everything to cinders. In our rapidly changing business landscape, it’s an omnipresent specter.

The stats are alarming.Did you know 44% of employees are teetering on the brink of burnout?

Heck, would you board a flight if you knew the pilot was cracking under pressure?
Interestingly, our bodies are a map of pressure points. Stimulate the right one in acupuncture, and you relieve pain. 

(Though if you're thinking of Mr. Spock's Vulcan pinch, maybe stick to the movies!)
In the maze of hybrid work, the gaps and pressure points are palpable.

Gallup throws a doozy: Only 2 out of 10 U.S. workers feel tied to their organization's spirit. And the rapid pace of change, the unyielding demands? Executives everywhere feel it.

Shock Trauma uses pressure and urgency to its advantage - how can you?

✨Finding Flow in the Golden Hour

Have you ever heard of “flow?” The term “flow” was first coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the father of positive psychology, which is the scientific study of what makes life worth living. 

More than peak performance, it’s about merging action and awareness. Here’s the caveat: achieving this Zen in the hybrid workspace is like catching lightning in a bottle.

Did you know businesses adopting ‘flow’ principles have reported up to a 200% boost in creativity? Or that flow can spike productivity by a whopping 500%?

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According to the Steve Kottler and Rian Doris for the Flow Research Collective

  • The average knowledge worker is only productive for 2.3 hours per day.
  • Every week, they spend half a day duplicating work they did the week before.
  • ‍They check their email 36 times per hour.
  • ‍They’re interrupted 56 times per day.
  • ‍They waste 36 hours in unnecessary meetings a month.
  • ‍Most devastating of all, the average knowledge worker is interrupted every 11 minutes (and it takes up to 23 minutes to get back into focus after a disruption)

Csikszentmihalyi penned these factors as contributors to a flow state:

  • Clarity of goals and immediate feedback
  • Intense, focused concentration on a specific task
  • The balance between skills and challenge
  • Sense of personal control and agency over the task
  • Loss of reflective self-consciousness
  • Time distortion or altered sense of time

✨The Relief Valve - Harmony in the World of Hybrid

Recent strikes, from the Writers Guild to auto workers, echo a universal sentiment. It's a wakeup call, sounding alarms we can't ignore: people are buckling under pressure, the collective rhythm is off, and more than ever, they want to be heard, valued, and seen. Our current work environment is grappling with seismic shifts.

Much like the outcry from these workers, teams navigating the hybrid work arena are desperately seeking alignment, appreciation, and acknowledgment. Misalignment sows the seeds of unrest, and if unchecked, that discontent can freeze the gears of an entire operation. The chasm is widening, and everywhere you turn, someone's holding up a flare for assistance.

Here's the deal: Our previous work blueprints are obsolete. This isn’t a jigsaw puzzle with a single solution. Different teams dance to different beats, and recognizing this diversity is paramount.

🚀Enter the Hybrid Health Index

This isn't some cryptic test. It’s a mirror, reflecting the melodies and discords within your organization.

Simple. Seamless. Not a colossal undertaking.

This inspiration stems from our last free survey in April 2020. More than 50 companies and 30,000+ individuals voiced their views on workplace improvements. Through the process they found their flow and synchrony. 

Just last week, upon announcing the Hybrid Health Index, 10 Executives responded within 24 hours. So, yeah, we struck a chord and now 50+ Executive Leaders are learning their: 

  • Organization's strong suits - where they’re killing it
  • The rifts demanding attention - those they see and don’t see
  • Next best steps to bring harmony to their hybrid

Drop your info HERE and these exclusive bonuses will be yours: 

  • A webinar unpacking your Hybrid Health insights.
  • Our "Remote Work Toolkit".
  • A blueprint for a vibrant hybrid future.

Now, it's your turn to take advantage of the “golden hour” we’re in relative to hybrid work. The earlier you address your organization’s hybrid traumas, the bigger and brighter the future will be. 




TOPICS: Workplace Innovation, leadership, stories that shift