The thing is, how come I spent 36 years of my life in a very hierarchical, chain of command structured institution (which I immensely enjoyed) and in the 3 short years following, have become such an advocate of the Future of Work? Working in a flat structure, with no hierarchies or obvious chain of command should be way outside my comfort zone, shouldn’t it? Yet, oddly, I am even happier than I was before.
Well, I think the answer lies in being able to follow one’s passions into the field of work and operate in a self directed way with other people on a collaborative basis. Two heads are better than one, right? So 77 heads (current number of active partners in EthosVO) must be even better, especially if they are unshackled by the requirement to follow senior management constraints (thou shall do this and not that) and have the means to interact with each other. Well, the internet and technology have ushered in the ability for the latter, so all it takes is the right mindset to achieve the former.
I think, on reflection, that I was very lucky indeed to find a career, which I was so passionate about, so it didn’t matter that much that it was severely hierarchical. Even so, I still had difficulties with the system from time to time, which tended to get me into trouble. In fact, I now have great concerns about how the heavily layered chain of the command is making that once great institution too risk averse, but that could be a subject for a separate blog, if you prod me. Needless to say, I was probably more chaordic (cf Jeremy Rifkin) than that venerable organisation could cope with.
Back to now though, and the Future of Work. What makes this so special for me is that I haven’t been recruited into Ethos specifically to do a job or meet a job description, I was invited to join for whatever meagre skills I might have and to use them on projects that really interest me. And because of the digitisation and socialisation of our work, that also means that I can not only work on what I want to work on, but also when and how. And that is really empowering. I recently watched this TEDx talk by Perry Timms, which brilliantly captures the essence of the Future of Work.
Why wouldn’t you want to work this way too?