Old school, New School = change
Throw the baby out with the bathwater? There was a comment from one of the linked in boards about where the past for work life was, and where the future will be with developing countries. I swear part of this question has me in Switzerland, where I feel like I am stepping back in time to when I was a kid and life was a bit simpler, people cared more about their fellow man, and life wasn’t just about money and stuff, much less self.
At the same time, I have spent a lot of my life with touring live entertainment. It is an occupation many in the 9-5 world would not do very well in, as you tend to always be changing and moving around. You don’t have one set base where you set up your home and then learn to surround yourself with your “life.” There was a joke in Washington dc, that once a bureaucrats got to the position they wished, they would start insulating as many layers of stuff around them so that they wouldn’t have to deal with anyone changing their work life.
Many of us also work on creating the “perfect” life with what we want, how our home looks, who our friends are and what we wear and drive. What we seem to spend the least amount of time on is asking, “Who am I?”
The landscape of work as we know it has been and will continue to change as technology evolves and the ability to connect the planet gets even better.
The issue that will hold back or limit this process is simply man himself. How will nations, corporations, cultures, religions, races and different creeds all change and live en masse, in a world where technology is allowing people to find “like” minded people while insulating them from that which is different? The other issue is that technology is making society more egocentric in nature. Steve Jobs made great products with sexy designs, but at the same time, he took the old burger King advertisement of “have it your way” and expanded it to be “I” culture.
As I sit in Switzerland, my lab equipment is in a different country locked up. I spent many years and made many mistakes in learning how to develop ideas and concept with rapid prototyping that are a bit different than the normal linear progression that larger organizations follow.
If you have a big organization, it will tend to be a different work environment where you specialize in one area and have many diverse parts of an organization to come together and turn ships the size of supertankers. This used to be the path of the worker in the United States. You went to a company, got a job, pretty much had lifelong security and then when you retired you got a pension.
The only people that still have this security appear to be government workers and the remnants of the unions that are dying out inside America as our special interests offshore labor to foreign markets.
The future inside of the United States could be one like other developed nations. High tech with specialized goods and then a large service based economy, of which the aging baby boom will soon have Alzheimer’s and dementia as a larger health issue than heart disease. I have to think about where diabetes from our unhealthy junk food nation will weigh in.
The ability to work, where, when, and how you want is one of the more amazing things on the planet. Particularly if you are doing work that is fulfilling and something you are passionate about. The truth is you will do this work whether you get paid or not. That is the beauty of the modern workplace. The horsepower in a laptop computer, and what you can do with the software (if you take the time to learn it) and with rapid prototyping and all the other ways to literally make things, what you have is a land where creativity should abound with new ideas and products.
In some respects this has, but this is where you come to the coming clash of how we spend out time and work for the future. The large organization are not stupid, they don’t want to give up profit margins and control of how things are done, as that would jeopardize their existence. In some respects it is like the not for profit strategy of ensuring it raises money and survives versus actually coming up with solutions to work themselves out of a job.
The creative artistic people that will do the work because they are passionate about it and simply like to create seem to live almost a lifestyle with discipline, continual learning and moving forward in sacrificing the short term, for getting the longer term.
We live in an increasingly egocentric world, bombarded by noise whose message seems to say, “do and have whatever you want. But if anyone does anything you don’t like or agree with, take out the flamethrower and scorch them!” (Sorry, tis a bit of a generalization, but that is the beauty of post brainstorm babble)
The term “collective” has me cringe when I think of modern society. The collective is not really a collective, more of a bunch of special interest groups all duking it out for power and control to make the rules. If you study how politics has changed and evolved with service for the collective, to service for “self” in the past 50 years, you see that the idea of collective is very flawed in society where profit margins have more value than the greatest asset we have with human beings.
The collective we live in today was built off the sweat of my great grandfather, grandfather and father. It is easy to forget this in today’s instant gratification society, but with the advancement of computers and the erosion of the middle class inside the united states, as well as the trajectory for artificial intelligence and robots doing lots of mundane jobs – requiring no time off, they don’t really complain about having a bad day, etc. The future of work is really wonderful, but there will be a clash with that dreaded “change” and the adaptation into what is known, set, and “the way things always have been done” in a world that allows anyone to literally work anywhere, anytime and anyplace. Who really controls the information, creative ownership and work?
I do agree that there needs to be a blending of the two worlds, but I haven’t figure out how one can have the best of both in one new world. They seem to be diametric or immiscible in many respects, like oil and vinegar. When you learn to live in the modern technology world, you don’t compartmentalize your life. Work, social, personal and all elements blend into one. In the old school life, you tend to have compartments where there is a set period for time for everything. Work, social, personal and other elements tend to be separate.
It is like training your mind to live in open mind thinking in a closed thought world where close to 7 billion other people all are thinking something different. create? or simply check of a list of tasks and say "look how busy i am?"
The key for the future is for humanity to figure out “what is actually best for humanity?” Unfortunately, there are too many selfish desires and agendas from the various political, religious, business, military, race, creeds and colors to see themselves.
The future of work and change doesn’t have to be traumatic with change, but it will require people to change and grow beyond what they know.
As I type, I don’t know how large of a percentage of people really want to push for new versus insulate themselves with the comfort of that which is known?
Not sure if i said anything of value, but it has been an amazing brainstorm this morning, you all got the residue of what was left over, but an issue i think about. What i have done is to change from designing work spaces that move all over the world, to those which can move and change even if they stay in the same place. you can have the best of both worlds. the problem is that you have to grow past the friction of many times seeming to swim against the stream of the "norm."