Welcome, dear readers, to the frenetic world of modern work, where the rush is glorified and the only thing that matters is the end result. Ah, the culture of results! It’s as if we’re all running on a hamster wheel, desperately trying to grab that elusive piece of cheese. But let’s take a step back, shall we? Let’s explore, with a generous dose of irony, how we’ve become so obsessed with results that we’ve forgotten to enjoy the journey.

The Great Race to Nowhere

Imagine you’re at the start of the Great Work Marathon. The gun goes off and you sprint as fast as you can. But wait, there’s no finish line. No medals. Just more running. Welcome to the modern workplace, where the race never ends and the joy of running has been replaced by the sheer terror of missing your quarterly targets.


Remember when work was about craftsmanship and pride in a job well done? Yeah, me neither. Now it’s all about KPIs, OKRs and a host of other acronyms that sound more like Star Wars droids than measures of success. We’ve traded our passion for what we do for spreadsheets and performance reviews. But why?

The KPI Conundrum

KPIs, or key performance indicators, are the holy grail of modern management. They’re supposed to keep us on track, to make sure we’re moving in the right direction. But in reality, they often feel like shackles, tying us to arbitrary numbers and unrealistic expectations. Instead of fostering creativity and innovation, KPIs can stifle our spirit and turn us into robotic number crunchers.

Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci was told that his KPI was to complete the Mona Lisa by the end of Q4. Do you think we’d have the masterpiece we admire today? Probably not. He’d be too busy filling out status reports and attending progress meetings.

The OKR Obsession

Ah, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), the brainchild of Silicon Valley’s finest. The idea is noble: set ambitious goals and track your progress against them. But like KPIs, OKRs have a dark side. They can create a culture where only the result matters and the journey is a mere footnote.

Take the classic startup scenario: the team is burning the midnight oil, driven by the promise of a lucrative exit. They hit their OKRs and the company is acquired. Success, right? But at what cost? Burnout, broken relationships and a workforce that’s more disillusioned than ever. We’ve become so fixated on the destination that we’ve forgotten to enjoy the ride.

The Long-Term Strategy Mirage

Then there’s the obsession with long-term strategy. We’re constantly told to think big, to plan for the future. But in our quest for world domination, we often overlook the present. We’re so busy drawing up our five-year plans that we forget to savour the day-to-day victories. We live in a constant state of ‘what’s next’ instead of appreciating ‘what’s now’.


Think about it. When was the last time you celebrated a small victory at work? Or took a moment to appreciate your team’s efforts, regardless of the outcome? In our results-driven culture, these moments are few and far between.

The Joy of the Journey

So what’s the alternative? How do we recapture the joy of work and free ourselves from the tyranny of results? It starts with a change of mindset. We need to redefine success by focusing not just on the destination, but on the journey itself.

Let’s celebrate the process, not just the product. Let’s find joy in the daily grind, the small victories and the creative breakthroughs. Let’s appreciate the “craftsmanship” that goes into our work, not just the end result.

Embracing the Present

To embrace the present, we must first let go of our obsession with the future. This doesn’t mean abandoning long-term goals or strategic planning. It means balancing them with a focus on the here and now. It means taking time to appreciate the work we’re doing today, rather than constantly worrying about what’s next.

Imagine a world where we don’t measure success by the number of boxes we tick, but by the satisfaction we get from our work. A world where we prioritise wellbeing and creativity over relentless productivity. It may sound like utopia, but it’s achievable if we’re willing to change our perspective.

The Role of Leaders

Leaders play a critical role in shaping workplace culture. They set the tone and expectations for their teams. To foster a culture that values the journey as much as the destination, leaders must lead by example. This means celebrating progress, encouraging creativity and promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Instead of micromanaging and obsessing over metrics, leaders should focus on creating a supportive and inspiring work environment. They should recognise and reward effort, not just results. In doing so, they can create a culture where people feel valued and motivated, not just for what they achieve, but for how they achieve it.

Practical Steps for a Balanced Work Culture

  1. Celebrate small wins: Don’t wait for the big milestones to celebrate. Acknowledge and reward small victories along the way. This will help build momentum and keep morale high.

  2. Encourage creativity: Give people the freedom to explore new ideas and approaches. Creativity thrives in an environment where people feel safe to take risks and make mistakes.

  3. Encourage work-life balance: Encourage employees to take breaks, use their vacation days and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Burnout is not good for anyone.

  4. Focus on development: Invest in your employees’ personal and professional growth. Provide learning and development opportunities and support their career aspirations.

  5. Create a positive working environment: Foster a culture of cooperation, respect and positivity. A happy workplace is a productive workplace.

The Path Forward

In the end, it’s a joke, but not much: it’s time to rethink our approach to work. By shifting our focus to the journey, we can create a more balanced, joyful and sustainable work environment. Let’s enjoy the ride and make every step count.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about where we’re going, it’s about how we get there.