The world is shifting too quick to try to keep up with the labor-mentality of the past. It is time to escape the matrix.
Let me try to explain… When I mentioned “Superempowerment of the Individual” in my blog recently, several collegues immediately were drawn to think of the lower cost of production being what I was saying- that because cost are now so low, anyone can start a venture or make a business happen… but that is only part of the picture… To recognize the superempowerment of the individual, we must also see that our world is shifting out of the “labor tradition” to the “knowledge tradition”. By the labor tradition, I mean the idea that man’s body is just an extension of the machines that he used, all prompted by the Industrial Revolution, and that we must work harder to be more productive…. We have moved on beyond that. Ideas are what the world is made up now… yet it sickens me to see many of my brilliant friends still stuck in this old mentality… “If I work really hard around the clock somehow I will make it all happen”… resulting in over worked, over stressed individuals that can not use most of their brains to be creative and create solutions that uniquely solve the issues that their companies are facing. Do you really think that cranking on that spreadsheet is really going to produce blockbuster results if you did not sleep the night before? I doubt it.
We must escape the matrix of this historical thinking, and recognize that the tectonic shift towards knowledge work has begun, and is accelerating…. and if you are not finding ways to relax so that you can leverage your whole mind, you are going to get run over by this shift. Superempowered individuals take advantage of the lowered cost of production, and they escape the “extension of a machine” mentality.
The following image is part of a class that I present on this; To give credit where it is due, my this is a concept that I originally learned from Fernando Flores:
The problem that many of us, especially us Generation X’ers (and I would argue even more so for the Baby Boomers before us) is that work has changed, and we are just now learning about it… but emotionally, down deep, something just does not feel right about what the Milliennials (or Generation Y’ers if you prefer) are teaching us… which happens to be Conceptual Shift #3 from my forthcoming book… work is being restructured by the Attitudinal Shift of the Millennials… They might be younger than us all, they might not have the power that we have, but their ideas and desires are shifting all of us towards their way of thinking. To ground this point, let’s look to Richard Florida, author of the Creative Class who recently stated on his blog:
The workplace is being re-organized radically away from the old bureaucratic corporation Alfred Chandler wrote about. The relationship between workers and their managers and tasks is changing. What people expect at work is changing too. Work and production organization are being reshaped; design and creativity have entered the picture in a big way. Production increasingly takes the form of globe straddling networks. Cities and communities are being reshaped, becoming more specialized economically, occupationally and demographically. We are in the midst of a great migration. Our culture is being radically reshaped.
Or, if you prefer, listen to one of the Milliennials directly. Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Workweek (book and blog) tells us this directly with his concept of the four hour work week… His subtitle by the way is “Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”. This book describes how to de-engineer (not just re-engineer) your job, and focus on your life. And for those of you who know me, yes, this is the book that I read this past June that had me cut back on my “work” (read that as “busy work”) and start producing real results while taking much more time off. Thank you Tim.
The world that is coming is going to require you to learn how to superempower yourself. Taking advantage of the lower cost of starting and running your business is only a start. Escape the labor-mentality Matrix, and free your mind up to create the ideas that truly innovate… or get run over while slaving it out in old-style thinking.