My father worked in the same company for more than 40 years. He started at the bottom, climbed the corporate ladder and retired in his 60’s. His company took care of him. He had a healthy pension, a great social work environment – he felt respected and rewarded by his. In exchange for these benefits, he had to settle: Don’t rock the boat. Keep your head down and do what others tell you. At one point, you can tell others what to do.

This world has disappeared. There are no more pensions. If corporations find somebody cheaper to do your job, you’re gone. No loyalty. No real connection between employee and employer. Just a business deal.

The  sad truth is: you’re on your own.

The exciting truth is: you’re on your own.

If you believe that following orders or going with the flow will get you anywhere, you’re better off try to make a living selling fridges in Alaska. The deal we had is gone. And it won’t come back. That’s why we need to create a new deal.

As an employee, you’re a free agent. You might still enjoy all the benefits of a corporation and the juicy expense accounts but you’re on the hot seat, ready to be  replaced by a cheaper, younger and (insert adjectives here) employee. In order to survive, you need to stand out, tap into your uniqueness. That’s a huge opportunity. Don’t feel restrained by the rules that corporations have bestowed upon you. Those rules are gone. Create your own rules. And change your workplace while you’re at it.

For companies, you need to create an open environment. An environment where free agents feel at home. Enable open communications with all stakeholders, no holds barred. No more meetings where the value of ideas is determined by the status of the employee. No more corporate silos of distrust. No more closed door conversations. Everything should be transparent and accessible.

Corporate culture can be defined as the personality of an organization. It used to guide how employees act, think and feel. Just like the Mayan culture, the corporate is almost gone. We need to replace it with community culture.

Community culture guides the whole organization how to collaborate, innovate and co-create. Develop a community culture that is the living expression of culture in everyday life. Create an environment where all stakeholders take the experiences of their lives and transform them into stories, ideas, innovations – or as some call it ‘expressive culture’.

There’s a bit of nostalgia rattling through my mind experiencing this world of corporate culture disappear in front of our eyes. It used to be the world my father lived in. Let’s make this world a better place by transforming corporate culture into community culture.