Another one of my earliest and strongest inspirations to workplace innovation is Hugh MacLeod. Not surprisingly since one of the gigs in his portfolio is crafting inspirational cartoons, or as he refers to them – “social objects”.
This piece by Hugh especially captures that shortcoming of conventional office working that Dynamic Work has always aspired to remedy.
- “I once had a job in an office where everyone worked VERY long hours, yet nothing particularly important or awesome ever seemed to get done. It turned out, the owner was a workaholic who liked to use long hours as a form of escapism, as a way of avoiding doing any real work. You know, the stuff that’s really, really hard. And then he expected other people to do the same, and punished people who didn’t. I don’t know what to tell you, besides ‘Don’t be that guy’.”
Well, I’m glad Hugh isn’t that guy and his pictures and penning has helped me to avoid being that guy.
Failure is another big interest of mine. And today marks the one decade anniversary of me exploring this subject. Probably an interwoven inspiration to my interest in “dynamic” working. The embrace of failure directly implies a more resilient approach that expects, accommodates and adapts to inevitable failure. As Adam Davidson describes in his piece “Welcome to the Failure Age!”:
“An age of constant invention naturally begets one of constant failure. The life span of an innovation, in fact, has never been shorter. An African hand ax from 285,000 years ago, for instance, was essentially identical to those made some 250,000 years later.”
Today’s state of the art iPad this year is tomorrow’s detritus a few years later. He goes onto articulate the implications of dynamic challenges on a dynamic workplace:
- “As an industry becomes more dynamic, its architecture, by necessity, often becomes less inspiring. These squat buildings have thick outer walls that allow for a minimal number of internal support beams, creating versatile open-floor plans for any kind of company — one processing silicon into solar-power arrays, say, or a start-up monitoring weed elimination in industrial agriculture. In Sunnyvale, companies generally don’t stay the same size. They expand quickly or go out of business, and then the office has to be ready for the next tenant. These buildings need to be the business equivalent of dorms: spaces designed to house important and tumultuous periods of people’s lives before being cleaned out and prepped for the next occupant.”
Hugh has penned another beauty reflecting on modern work life and underscoring the new age of Dynamic Work. The dated bugbear of “face time” is morphing into more of a “Facebook time”…
“It’s the new world of work. Embrace it. It’s not changing. The digital presence has replaced the physical presence, and there’s more work in our phones than there are friends. 10 emails to every 1 friend text, last time I counted…Our personal and work lives are intrinsically intertwined, so find something that gives you meaning, something that you’re excited about when you wake up in the morning- find purpose in your work.”