#FreedomatWork – The Power in Freedom

Posted: May 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

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#WorldBluBritPack Blog 1 – The Power in Freedom.

There’s something in the air.  Frederic Laloux used this phrase and it was based on his much talked-about work featuring in the book “Reinventing Organisations”.  Teal organisations – whether you like the phrase or loathe it – is about a shift.  A shift in the way we – as endeavouring Human Beings are approaching and want to feel enabled by our work.  I don’t even like calling this sort of thing a job anymore.  The “job” proposition has such a controlled, locked in and owned feel to it.

My good friend Simon Heath has an even stronger view than mine saying “human endeavour is what gets the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  Work is a damp fart”.  

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I get that I really do.  We should LOVE what we do.  Even if it feels a bit choresome – take pride and feel the sense of worth, value and accomplishment in what we do.  Our machine and commoditised existence means we have created low value jobs for people who don’t really want to do the work but need the money and that’s given rise to growing distrust in people.  That we have so much management and controlling policies is because we believe we cannot rely on ethics, principles or belief in each other.

I know the receptors in my brain light up when I’m given work to do that I KNOW will have a positive impact on others.  Whether that is actually fixing something or creating something new that delivers something better or more fulfilling than before.

I’m lucky and focused on who I’ve found to work with and believe in, and what I’ve found as the things that I NEED to work on.

#FreedomatWork is one of those.  Which is why I’m delighted to be headed to Miami to join the WorldBlu collective.  Even more than joining in I’ll be holding the space on a session on Monday as the soft start of a 3 day summit around the principles of democracy at work and the pursuit of freedom centred working and leading.

That we even NEED a summit like this is a shame.  Because in many respects and for a long time, we’ve dehumanised work and we’re about to see more work going the way of machines, technology and automated devices.  I won’t go down this route because this is a post derived from my belief in the human spirit and in the sense of purpose.

Back to there’s something in the air.

There is.  I don’t believe I’m alone in this but I know there are millions of doubters and deniers, decryers and denouncers.  Yet I can feel a gentle surge of humanism set against a forceful clinging of power by the incumbents.  

If there’s one thing I truly believe in it’s that overuse of power means it eventually destroys itself; and that hope, belief, compassion and generosity prevail.  It’s cyclical.  Dark needs light and good needs bad.  Yet the rhythm and the impact of both need to provide sustainable ways.  When we face adversity, we group and work together or we turn on each other and fragment  When there is no adversity, we create it and do the same.  It’s the rhythm of life, the force of nature whatever you want to call it.

Yet controlism has had it’s time in the light and now is – in my view – ready for the dark to allow freedom to come back into the light.

If you look at the world you’d think “sure there’s some developing nations but surely we’re more prosperous than ever (despite the odd 4-year crisis every 10 years).  We’re getting to live longer and diseases aren’t wiping us out like before.”  That may be the case in some places but drug addiction, crime, domestic violence, fraud,radicalism etc exists and creates disharmony and a challenge to living without fear.

If we don’t live without fear how can we possibly expect to work without fear?

Controlism causes the creation of new forms of anti-controlism.  Wealth creation but inequality brings discord and uprising.  Brutal regimes force people to fight back and overthrow them.

So the more we try and control people at work through systems, financial frameworks, managing, contractual and litigious ways the more people will feel the discord, fight back or withdraw and fight or flee from harm.

Controlism.  That’s what we need to be rebelling against by diverting our energies to whatever brings more freedom.  I see people light up when given the freedom they need and deserve yet even a tiny hint of suspicion and a feeling “can this be real?”.  SO used to controlism are we that are unsure when we are given freedom either because we’re conditioned to accept and work with controlism or that we feel no longer competent without controlling methods.

Freedom.  It is such a big and beautiful word.  Just the sense of it lifts my soul when I utter the words “I want to be free”.  When I hear people say “I felt so free…” I have the most empathic reaction and feel enriched by one simple word.  Freedom.

If you believe in yourself and in making a way through life that matter to YOU, then freedom is important.  

Freedom to work how you want.  

Freedom to live with who you want.

Freedom to choose the way to live that creates good for others (be it financial or otherwise).  

Freedom to create choices that do good.

Freedom to create more freedom for others.

There will be more from The Power Question Summit this week from me as part of the #WorldBluBritPack.

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The Power Question is WorldBlu’s focus for the summit in Miami between 9-11 May 2016 – “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?”


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