The cacophony of work-life media coverage courtesy Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s ditching work-at-home privileges, spurred a tsunami of debate around water coolers in corporate America and in the blogosphere.
But the work-life conversation seems to have remained in the “gender” zone instead of the “evolution” taking place within the “new world of work.” Granted women now make up half the workforce. And as the central caregivers, women are inherently a huge component of this “new world.” But research from the Families and Work Institute shows that men are just as concerned with the work-life merge as women. So to me, the signal above the noise is that work-life conflict does not know gender boundaries.
Instead this new era of work ( juggling kids, careers, care giving of parents, and economic tumult in a 24/7 world while navigating technology) calls for a new approach to the work-life merge. And after more than two decades helping to shape the dialogue on work-life flexibility, consultant Cali Williams Yost, Founder of Flex+Strategy Group, demonstrates how to create your own work+life fit in her new book Tweak it: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day.
I’ve been following Yost’s work for nearly a decade. In fact, her first book Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You helped inform my opinions on the work-life debate and the business argument for flexibility. The work-life balance conversation has often remained in the realm of workplace culture as a “mommy” issue and within the job of human resources, but that has evolved as Yost explains.
Yost doesn’t remove responsibility from the C-Suite on the need for cultural change, but she contends there is a new work+life reality, and her new book takes the conversation and responsibility into the mindset of the individual – whether male or female.
Through anecdotes from the lives of those she calls work+life fit “naturals” (about 10-15% of the population who seem to have mastered the work-life thing) and wisdom from experts (Disclosure: I was happily interviewed for her book on work stress and meditation) Yost delivers a tight, simple strategy to make small changes or “tweaks” toward a better work-life fit.
Management guru Peter Drucker once wrote about time, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Yost’s methodology reflects this mindset in her Tweak-It practice.
Here’s a quick overview:
Phase One: Create a snapshot of your work+life fit, choose a simple calendar to monitor it and decide what success looks like for you.
Phase Two: Analyze the snapshot and select the tweaks that will allow you to better manage your work-life fit, thus making what matters to you happen every day.
Phase Three: Review and revise your tweaks, which is an ongoing organic process.
The personal profiles deliver story lines one can easily relate to, and the book offers inspiration in the form of tweaks to put a little more energy into your career, mind, body, money and family life.
What you’ll appreciate is that Tweak-It doesn’t end at the pages of the book. The on-line portal (The Tweak-It Community) includes more advice and support to help get your practice on the right track. So often, self-help books leave you wondering about next steps or how to incorporate the process in a practical fashion. Check out the site as you launch your own tweaks toward a better work-life fit, the information is endless. The book combines with the site can help you steward your own process to identify the “signals” above the noise in the work-life merge.
To get a real life look into Cali’s practice and her mind-set, check out her website and tune into Kathie Lee & Hooda on the Today Show Friday, March 15th. Cali is joined by career coach Maggie Mistal talking about life, career, change and tweaking along the way.
Work-life stress is not reserved for mommies or daddies, it’s an everyone issue which needs to be tackled with a progressive approach, certainly inclusive of the individual needs of the changing workforce, and big businesses need to attract and retained skilled talent.
Please join me in the conversation @JudyMartin8. Should the old conversation of work life balance fall more in the walls of big business and corporate culture or should we be tackling it as individuals?