The End of Corporate Containment of The Human Soul
One of the 7 wonders of the world could be joy at work. Instead of a chore-some, tired and laborious journey through life, we should be able to show our talent, strength and belief in what we do and that we also happen to get paid for.
That we are in 2016 with convenience, abundance and expertise at our disposal and a huge majority of people find themselves in employ in ways they just don’t like, is a travesty. We’ve designed in some of the stupidest, most soul-destroying things so we need Corporate Rebels to help us find the people who’ve designed them out. And designed it better.
Wholeness in the humane workplace
Humane workplaces are where people aren’t expected to leave themselves at the threshold of the place or thing they call work; they can be cared for and about, compassionately respected for being a creative - and at times imperfect human - trusted and believed in and helped to achieve a sense of purpose, esteem and relevance in the world.
Happiness matters as not a glib word of glee, but of a recognition that the world can be a tough place for us all - some more than others - and a place of sanctuary and belonging can help with a range of issues from esteem, value, pride and a point to it all. It’s that happiness and not the thin veneer of gratuitous “faux joy”.
So I might be a drainage engineer working in the subterranean gloom, but if I know why I do it; how it benefits others and I’m respected and recognised for doing something of value, why shouldn’t I experience fulfillment and realise how my expertise and endeavours keep the world turning in a better way?
Sharing connects all humanity
Ubuntu - that famous South African philosophy and way of being - keeps flashing through my thoughts when I think of the work Joost and Pim are doing: My best = your best and the recognition that there is belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity, seems to sum up best the work of these corporate rebels.
Sure they’re not interviewing people who have taken on political or even despotic regimes, but they are trying to crack the code of the DNA of workplaces built on joy, happiness and freedom of spirit.
Stand together with others
So I guess my call is for people who read this to join in. With Pim and Joost, with the people on their Bucket List, with others who might call themselves a Corporate Rebel. And this isn’t some hackneyed rebrand of outlying ideologists. This is a coming together of philosophies like Ubuntu, like Happiness at work, like authentic and empathetic leadership and of humane working conditions that can eradicate everything from unwittingly utilised illegal labour to toxicity and stress in the workplace.
Be a corporate rebel. Question the very nature of what goes on around you at work that you feel is inhumane, soul-destroying or just nasty. Stand together with others who care about each other, better work and ultimately a more just, fair and inclusive way of working.
It’s not the end of corporate working we’re after, it’s the end of corporate containment of the human soul.
Perry Timms is a British Corporate Rebel with many roles. He is founder of PTHR and chief connector at WorldBlu. He is also a (visiting) fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sheffield Hallam University Business School, and futurist at the IBM Future of Work Programme.
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How are work outcomes affected by the treatment of those who do it? I have been exploring this question for ~50 years. In that time, one comment stuck with me more than any other. It was made in 1998 when I interviewed a group of men in Indianapolis who had redesigned most of the US city’s waste collection and disposal operations. “We are no longer expected to park our brains at the door when we come to work.”
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