Do the work

Reading often throws up interesting juxtapositions.

In his latest book, Roberto Unger defines three ways of making a living; wages work, self employment and cooperation, and emphasises we need to be focusing on the last two.

In the latest copy of the RSA Journal, Thomas MacMillan looks at a Populus Poll of 16-24 year olds, and their priorities for their work lives. Top of the list is a secure job. Top of their priorities for that job is that it protects nature.

So. It could be inferred that they want someone else to provide them with a secure job that delivers their values. Nice work if you can get it.

From a mindset standpoint, maybe we are best with a “company of one” approach, treating ourselves as self employed, even if we are in waged work. To adopt the principle of the self employed that we have no secure employment. To focus on who to work with based on our values. To avoid the illusion of job security.

The three most powerful addictions are cocaine, carbohydrates and a regular income. Nassim Taleb

If we can do that, the other options become conscious choices. Being dependent puts us in a comfortable but addictive position. Independence can be lonely, but gives us freedom. Co-operation is where the magic happens.

The time to make a choice is when we don’t have to. Choose to do the work that gives you the freedom of independence.

Breaking Rocks with Spoons

I always enjoy Sundays. Despite being (more or less) master of my own time, there is still something about them. One of the things I like to do is go through articles and mails that I’ve sidelined during the week so I can go through and give them time they deserve on Sunday. In the way that these things do, a picture emerged from this week. People breaking rocks.

People approaching things head on, when standing back would indicate a more effective way.

People obeying patently daft rules, despite the fact they know it hurts them and their clients, because the rules somehow have a power of their own.

People “sticking to their knitting” in a valuable education market, even though a small team has created a digital equivalent that will likely pull the rug from under them. If our job can be described and specified, it can be automated. See here for the jobs under threat – right now – of automation.

Screenshot 2014-11-23 11.20.12

You can read the full article here

Our futures do not belong to organisations, they belong to us. Each of us has unique abilities (and the likelihood for most of us is that it has little to do with your job) that we can leverage, particularly if you find the right group to work with (clue: They are probably not those you work with)

Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to Richard Gerver; who talked about a conversation he had with Sébastian Foucan, who you may recognize from his part in Casino Royale. During a walk, Richard asked him what he was looking at. To paraphrase the answer, the reply he got was “the spaces”. Sébastian sees the buildings as rocks, the spaces as the fastest way through, and himself as water. This is what happens:

Maybe we should look at what we do in the same way. Our passions and abilities are like water. Many of the organisations we work in are rocks. Quite often , the resources we are given are like spoons.

Breaking rocks with spoons. Not the future.

Using your skills like Seb? Maybe…….