Future of Work
A conversation with Steve Frost
We are all working these days, man and woman. And it seems like we are all wondering: how could work be better? How could it be more meaningful and satisfying? How could it be less tiring and more aligned with who we really are. And beyond that, how could we become who we are through our work?
This third episode of Ten Minute Conversations is about the future of work, which as you can imagine is closely related to the future of cities and the future of economy.
Steve and I met at one of Groundswell’s get togethers and soon discovered our mutual love for networks and how important a tool they are for understanding the modern world, which is so in need of understanding itself and continually correcting its course for a more meaningful existence.
In this conversation we dig into some of the topics that come up around the future of work: like what are we hearing in popular media about what the future would be like? What else is out there to tune into? And what is this historical shift that is happening where more and more businesses and organizations are moving from a predict and control mode of operation, where everything and everyone is assumed a machine, to a more natural way of operating, where they succeed instead by sensing and responding; just like alive, dynamic organisms.
- We are interested in the future because future is about “hope and possibility”
- Hope can have a “dark toxic side”
- A huge shift is happening from a mechanistic model that sees the world in mechanistic terms to a model that sees the world in ecological terms
- Frederic Laloux discovered the fundamental innovations or breakthroughs of the successful organizations who have made the leap to be: Self-Management, Wholeness and Evolutionary Purpose
- We cannot respond to complexity with control. A sense-and-respond approach is needed to navigate the waves
- Western culture is based almost exclusively on “instrumental relationships”, where individuals know each other and are in relationship because they are doing/accomplishing/achieving something in the world. Instrumental relationships are necessary but not enough to keep us alive
- There is something real about holding “space” for listening
It’s more like a jungle, than a machine. And a jungle behaves in coherent ways, but there is constant change occurring that you can’t possibly know. But you can still navigate a jungle and stay alive.
People operating in organizations as they are, feel the brokenness of them and feel the despair; they feel the soullessness of them and then here’s this book that reveals there is a better way. There is another way and it works.
If you want to eventually accomplish something in terms of economies and cities and work, the best place to start is with no agenda and not accomplishing anything and simply being with each other and listening.
For those who want to dig deeper:
- Steve facilitates the Radical Listening group and is also the founder and executive director of The Tasai Collective
- Frederic Laloux’s monumental book: Reinventing Organization
- A summary of Charles Taylor’s book: A Secular Age. He is the philosopher Steve mentions when talking about instrumental and non-instrumental relationships
- This conversation was recorded at SPACE!
- Theme Music is by Arian Khosravi