What Does WEGOS Mean?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a word that is not in the dictionary:

I like your signature sentence “Working together with head, heart and hands takes and makes big WEGOS” but I can’t quite work out what WEGOS means.

Signed,

DearĀ ???:

Think for a moment about the difference between playing a game of ping pong and working on a jigsaw puzzle with someone. Ping pong players each see if she/he can hit a ball so that the other player can’t return it and therefore scores a point. The winner consequently feels superior to the loser. It is an ego thing. When working on a jigsaw, participants seek to find pieces that contribute to completion of the picture. When they finish it is a feeling of accomplishment–a we did it, a WEGO THING.

My signature sentence to answering questions that come to our site expresses an attitude and process that are essential to achieving an organizational goal: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. In short, a WEGO attitude is not a me, me, me but a we, we, we, and that adds up to WEGOS if those working together do what it takes to make a goal.

I have included how I have answered others who have asked your question in some detail below:

Is not the important question: why do you ask? Did you scan the Workplace Doctors site because you want to learn how to deal with some problem you encounter where your work? Or wonder how to manage so that your workplace might be more efficient and effective? We are committed to respond to matters such as that. Below is my more detailed response I have sent to others who ask your same question. What Does The Word “WEGO” Mean?? Although your advice is always clear, there is one thing that I don’t fully understand. When you sign off your responses, you mention “WEGO.” What does this word mean?

Signed, I’d WEGO If I Knew How

Dear Wanna WEGO: What does WEGO mean? WEGO embodies the trinity of WE, GO, and EGO. The idea for coining this word came to us years ago when we were designing games that teach a lesson. Two games we designed illustrate the WEGO principle: One was about cases that were decided by the Supreme Court. That game taught players how the Court decided a case by them reading a summary of it and sharing excerpts from the opinions of the justices. The other aspect of the game was for the players to deliberate and argue how they would decide the case if they were the jury. In short, by involving themselves in the case, they became informed decision-makers.WEGO means learning together.

A second game growing out of our game design efforts was titled Prediction: A Game of Hunches and Intuition. In this game, a player predicts how another player will answer questions of fact such as:Who said, ‘I think and therefore I am’? Debatable questions such as: Should the police be paid less than teachers? And personal questions such as: Would I adopt a child? or Does he or she prefer a shower or a tub bath?”If a player makes a correct prediction, both the predictor and the predictee advance on the game board. If the prediction is wrong, both move back. The message of the game is that good communication is a matter of learning to know what are others’ values, knowledge, and personal proclivities. And that together, we humans, who live, work, and play together, do so more effectively when we make informed predictions. WEGO is like that. The word “go,” is movement, doing, shaping the work we do, and the place we work. It represents pro-active employee involvement. The last word that contributes to WEGO is “ego.” In the workplace, the psychological term ego means personal efforts to advance and benefit one’s self.

We cannot ignore the individual interests of those who work together. Ego says that others come second to me. Ego says my way is the way it should be. Ego says greed is good. Ego in its raw concern for personal advancement is vicious and creates a hostile work environment. The positive meaning of Ego is that it motivates hard work, dedication, and high aspiration. In a real sense there is plenty of ego in WEGO. With its altruistic symbolism, WEGO tempers egocentric behaviors. WEGO is organization life in its best sense: a concern for high performance, dedication to the external customer, communication mindedness of those who work together, and commitment to the well-being of not just those in the workplace but to the community and environment in which it is located. However, by WEGO, we do not mean some pie in the sky workplace.

Rather we mean WEGO can happen in small ways in run-of-the-mill workplaces–in cooperation on small projects, collaboration on how to cut costs, finding new ways to improve quality, dealing assertively with bossy bosses, and coping effectively with annoying co-workers and irresponsible subordinates. WEGO is the mindset we have as we answer questions. WEGO is the signature close to our answers. We have but partial truth and incomplete answers to the concerns of those who send their questions. We submit our thoughts for consideration, for discussion, for argument, and for testing. We invite your feedback. WEGO now awaits your ideas about what it means to you. The Workplace Doctor

William Gorden