On November 11th and 12th we are going to be facilitating another Frontier Project, this one in Houston. Whereas our last Frontier Project focused on the future of H.R., this one will be focused on the future of work. The Frontier Project is a relatively unique event, bringing together 50ish curious and creative folks from a variety of fields and a variety of organizations to collaborate in building a model of the future. The process is facilitated, but there are no speakers or content experts, the expertise being provided by the participants.
The Frontier Project is kind of hard to explain to folks who have not yet participated, and when folks ask me why they should attend I have a number of answers.
My favorite answer is quite simple, love.
I think that work can be one of the great love affairs of a persons life. I believe this, but I know not everyone does. Plenty of people scoff at this idea. “Work does not have anything to do with love,” they tell me, “it is simply a means to an end. It simply what you do to pay the bills—it’s not about finding yourself or some higher calling.”
If that works for you, that is cool. I get it and respect it. It is just not how I am put together.
I believe that work can truly be a love story. And if it can be that, why shouldn’t it be that? If I am going to spend 40 or 50 or 60 hours a week with something, why not make it a righteous thing, a thing that lights me on fire? Why spend that much of my time and talent simply surviving something?
I know that a person’s relationship with their work can be one of the great relationships of their life. I know that it can be a creative and generative and revelatory type of thing. I know this because I have experienced it. I do not think there is much that you and I cannot do if we set our minds to it and I think that we can make work a better thing for a lot of folks and for a lot of organizations. I think that the impact of more people loving their work, being fully employed and engaged in their work would be staggering. This is a movement that can send real ripples through the business world, through our communities, our schools, even our too absurd to make fun of government.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with me, I think it is pretty easy to make the case that work can be better. You have seen articles about high levels of disengagement, you know people that are stifled. Too much has changed in the past couple of decades for us to be still approaching work in the same tired and wasteful way.
Let’s try something different.
November 11th and 12th in Houston.