Change the Nature of Work (Alpha manifesto)
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.
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. To better coordinate work, invest in inter-personal skills to improve the quality of feedback.
- Leadership is a group function, providing a shared vision of what success looks like and an ethical framework to guide the way, but does not define how problems should be solved.
In the long run it is the structure of an organization that matters. We can only create in our own image. If we seek to create a world that does not rely on resource extraction, we must create organizations that do not operate by extracting time, energy and creativity from humans.