Over the last weeks and months, during my sabbatical and during my part-time working regime, I have written so much down in my personal journals, in documenting my dreams, in writing poetry and even fairytales that I probably have enough material to publish one post every day for the next 100 days.
Picture: "The Key in The Hand” installation by Chiharu Shiota 2015 Venice Biennale
I started seeing several themes, file-rouges and keys in what I was writing, and one of the main reflections was about work. About he nature of work. What constitutes “good” work. About the joy of work. About the frustrations of work. About meaningful work and fulfilment. In essence about the essence of work.
I have now bundled several of my musings about work in ten chapters/essays that I am going to release one by one in the coming days and weeks under the title “The Essence of Work”.
Most of the essays are basically written, some of them still mature as I reflect, as I lie down and let the world come to me. But at a certain time, I can’t withhold it anymore, and it is time to share my thoughts, doubts, inspirations and aspirations with my audience. And as usually – when you share – something magically happens that is called a high quality feedback loop. You get challenged, encouraged, there is a conversation starting. Like in The Cluetrain Manifesto: “Markets are conversations”.
The courage to publish – to release, to let go, to put out something into the world – is usually triggered by an event, something somebody says, a touch, a tear in an eye, somebody coming into your world, a resonance, a frequency, a signal.
Image: Cyrus Kabiru - Kenyan-artist
In this case it was the story of a manager telling her “subordinate” that she should look at her work “as a job”, where the job is a means to an end, and that end is getting a salary. I am paraphrasing, there was probably a little more subtlety to it all, but that was the essence of the message.
That story makes me sad and angry, and that’s why I want to get to the essence about what’s so wrong in that message and share with you what I feel is the essence of work.
This post is just the introduction to that blog series. To give you a feel of what’s coming, hereunder the titles of the 10 chapters or essays that I am going to release soon:
- The Essence of Work – Part 1 – Belief systems
- The Essence of Work – Part 2 – Fundamental Questions
- The Essence of Work – Part-3 – Values and Needs
- The Essence of Work – Part 4 – Caring
- The Essence of Work – Part 5 – Craftsmanship
- The Essence of Work – Part-6 – You are responsible
- The Essence of Work – Part 7 – Ten years to go
- The Essence of Work – Part 8 – Our projects
- The Essence of Work – Part 9 – Ethereal qualities
- The Essence of Work – Part 10 – At the edge, not beyond
These are not my own thoughts. Many are evolutions of deep insights by people much smarter than me. In every post, I will obviously reveal that source of the inspiration that keeps challenging me in my work. I am just re-chewing the source, sensing it, and trying to make sense out of it.
Hope you join me on this journey. Looking forward to your feedback, suggestions, challenges, conversations, and encouragements, if any.