Given A Choice
David Graeber | Constructive Uncertainty and other Meditations | Toward A Working Equilibrium and other Aheads | Work Processing
Quote of the Moment
Given a choice between a course of action that would make capitalism seem the only possible economic system, and one that would transform capitalism into a viable, long-term economic system, neoliberalism chooses the former every time. There is every reason to believe that destroying job security while increasing working hours does not create a more productive (let alone more innovative or loyal) workforce.
| David Graeber, Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit
I’m somewhat behind in various obligations as a result of a bad bout of Covid: about 2 weeks in the depths and an additional two weeks plus of coughing. I am just about caught up (over a month later), but offering this sampler of writing I’ve done in other venues as compensation for my low frequency here recently.
I’ve been writing on a regular basis for Sunsama, the planner company. Here are some of the posts, which are some of my best work, I think.
The world is complex, and we must find a balance between taking action and accepting uncertainty. Our natural impulse toward quick decisions misses out on a powerful tool: negative planning.
Good Strategy, and Bad
How is it that some organizations cut through the fog of competition and achieve their goals, while most stumble?
Under Pressure, I Caved
Psychologist Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg provides us with a model to understand how people can be pulled into the grey zone of unethical behavior, and past it.
Resilience and Hope
Human resilience is unlike system and organizational resilience, because people can hope.
Take a Breath
Creating new habits for 2023? Try taking a breath.
Business frameworks can't replace thinking
A look into the danger of ceding our thinking to business playbooks.
Last year I wrote a series for Cisco’s Webex Ahead blog.
Toward a Working Equilibrium: The Pace Layers of Work
How we pace our work permeates—and changes—work culture
Toward a Working Equilibrium: A Time for Silence
So much about work depends on the pace of alternating between noise and silence.
The New Workweek
Why should I be in the office? It’s not ‘because I told you to.’ That’s not the answer. – Tom Naratil, the president of UBS in the Americas
Each technological revolution brings with it, not only a full revamping of the productive structure, but eventually a transformation of the institutions of governance, of society, and even of ideology and culture. – Carlota Perez
From Linear To Emergent Culture
The discontent of today’s workforce presages a new era of work culture
What are the most critical aspects of work culture from the perspective of workers? Perhaps we can start by asking workers why they want to quit their jobs and triangulate on the factors in organizations that drive them away.
Burnout or betrayal?
Missteps by corporations and institutions balancing the bottom line with employee well-being have led to a global pandemic of burnout, one that reaches into all aspects of life, at work and at home. Exhaustion, cynicism, and loss of productivity are seeping into every aspect of work.
The ecology of work: growing resilient, growing wilder
You can’t endorse a top-down authority structure and be serious about enhancing adaptability, innovation, or engagement.
| Gary Hamel, Bureaucracy Must Die
I’m writing a three-part series for Reworked on what I call work processing.
Work Processing: The Tools We Use to Think, Write and Remember
Over the last few years we've seen the rise of work processing tools like Notion, Obsidian, Roam Research, Loqseq and Microsoft Loop. In this, the first of a three-part series exploring the history, motivations and market for work processing tools, we look back at their history — starting with note-taking and the transition from analog to digital technologies to support it; the core concepts driving today's explosion of work processing tools and how they differ from conventional office document tools from Google and Microsoft, which have defined how the world thinks of document-centric work coordination and collaboration. In later installments, we will answer two key questions: Who needs work processing tools and why? and What is the state of the market for work processing tools, now and going forward?