Change the nature of your work.

We’ve got to learn to work in a whole new way. The very foundations of our organizations have to change. We need to make this change urgently, and we have to do it “without stopping the train”.

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From static to dynamic

One of the ways to describe the changes we need to make is to say that we have moved from a static to a dynamic environment. Previously, in a static context, we would take a lot of time to define what something was, while not really bothering to work out how that thing would change. …


The future is too complex for anyone to have a plan, we have to learn to do things differently.

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We’re in a time where the future is hidden from us. There is such uncertainty, such complexity in every direction, that no-one can see how we are going to get through to somewhere a little less dark. In this swirl of potential apocalypses the desire to find a hero, to find a great leader with a plan, rises all around us. We’ve spent the last few years obsessed with super heroes, surely now is the time for one to rise up and save us?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible for anyone to have a plan. There is simply no way that any individual, any organization or even any culture, could come up with a sure-fire plan that could navigate the coming years. There are too many variables, too many unknowns. Surviving the next century will require knowledge and skill from every direction and every background. …


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I’ve got nothing to do with @mural. I just started using the tool a few weeks ago. I have however found myself very excited, and getting into it more and more. It’s opened up a different form of meeting for me. One where I can allow conversation to begin around a topic, and then guide along some “rails” by creating a collaborative space on the fly. It feels like making art with meetings. (And I don’t really know how to use it that well, yet)


We’re exploring new ways of doing, being and working. It’s a long journey. We’d like to share the path. This is a snapshot of some of what we found along the way.

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Newsletter #1 — September 2020

We’re out to ‘Change the nature of work’. We believe that doing this requires we strengthen the inner resources of the humans within an organization and create organizations that support that growth.

The end goal is to create people and organizations that thrive within an environment of continuous change.

We’re exploring a newsletter to share our personal voices, the conversations we have and the things we find. It’s far less filtered than what we say elsewhere.

Contents

  • Stuff we found online
  • Thoughts from our journals
  • Quotes and concepts that we found significant
  • Stories from our work
  • Practices that make a difference

Articles, resources and tools

Things we found…


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The best way to allow your doubts to ferment and grow is to deny them and hide them.

“To create trust, share your distrust”. This line made me stop, get a pencil, underline the words, start the page, and read it again. “To create trust, share your distrust”. It made so little and so much sense. The best way to allow your doubts to ferment and grow is to deny them and hide them. When you let them out, when you share them they can be addressed and fade away.

How do we create spaces where we can admit our distrust? How can we do this in our homes, let alone with our clients? In my own life its taken a complete relationship breakdown to get to the point where this comes out. What kind of strength is required to make this a daily practice? …


We’re exploring new ways of doing, being and working. It’s a long journey. We’d like to share the path. This is a snapshot of some of what we found along the way.

Image for post
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Newsletter #1 — September 2020

We’re out to ‘Change the nature of work’. We believe that doing this requires we strengthen the inner resources of the humans within an organization and create organizations that support that growth.

The end goal is to create people and organizations that thrive within an environment of continuous change.

Here we share our personal voices. We pull content from our daily journals and explorations and share it in an unfiltered form.

Contents

  • Stuff we found online
  • Thoughts from our journals
  • Quotes and concepts that we found significant
  • Stories from our work
  • Practices that make a difference

Articles, resources and tools

Things we found online

RAT (Rework Avoidance Theory)

https://www.geepawhill.org/2020/07/17/the-rat-rework-avoidance-theory

Perhaps this is one of the hardest things to accept when it comes to approaching continuous change: What you do today may be replaced by something you do tomorrow.


There is just one step that needs to be taken. It’s not even a big one. Welcome change. Don’t resist it, welcome it. Everywhere.

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From static to dynamic

To thrive in a fast paced, constantly changing, environment, we need to shift one, fundamental assumption: Change is not a phase, it is continuous and will never stop. The only way to manage continuous change is to be better at changing, and to keep at it.

This is the paradigm shift: from static to dynamic. Stability does not arise from keep things the same, it now arises from being dynamic, from the ability to constantly evolve and adapt to meet the environment.

This need to see that stability is a state of dynamic balance, rather than a fixed point, applies at every level: to our inner world, to our relationships with those around us and to whole systems or organizations. …


This year has been a time of pretty intense soul searching. (For everyone?) As I work through all the collapsing structures of my inner and outer worlds, I’ve come to believe, more deeply than ever, that we must transform the way in which we approach human collective effort. I feel that there is no action more important than learning to transform our organizations.

My experience has taught me that there is no way we can create better organizations without fundamentally changing the nature of our relationships. And there is no way we can fix our relationships if we don’t seek to transform ourselves.

However, we’re all part of the system. We will struggle to evolve who we are if we don’t have the relationships to support us. Our organizations can play a huge role in helping us develop adult relationships. Start anywhere and follow it everywhere. Keep sensing where to go next, don’t neglect any part of the system.

If we start this. If we keep working at it, and accept that the process of evolving and adapting will never end. Then we will create the future we need. …


The challenges we face as a species leave only one option available to us. To survive we must change the way in which we harness collective human energy. To create a future compatible with humanity and the biosphere we must change the nature of work.

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To create organizations capable of existing in harmony with nature we must model them on ecosystems, not on machines. In practice this means that the structure of our organizations must change from hierarchy to network.

To move to an ecosystem model, the processes that generate work need to change. In a systemic organization:

  • “Productivity” is developed by cultivating the humanity of the individuals connected to it. By developing self-esteem, self-confidence, honesty and trust, individuals increase their ability to contribute to a shared goal.
  • Work is coordinated through feedback, not “command and control”. Each individual within the system determines their own path, constantly giving and receiving feedback to those they work with. …


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What if we changed the nature of work?

Here’s a story for you.

What if the most powerful force on the planet was not nuclear energy, or some secret perpetual motion machine? What if it was not the sea or the vast potential of solar power, or anything like that? What if it were much closer to home?

Lets say, for the sake of this story, that we do live in the Anthropocene. In a time when humanity’s impact on the planet is of a geological scale, what’s more, that this impact has become visible, not over millions of years, but in a few hundred.

Now in this story, the real force behind the Anthropocene is not humanity as a whole, but something a little more specific: “coordinated human activity”. To put it a little differently, the most powerful force in this story is the organization, and in particular, organizations capable of harnessing technology. …

About

Peter Brownell

It’s time to change the world. It’s time to create the future that we need. I seek the inflection points that can make tomorrow a better place.

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