Another great post from Seth Godin:
Yes there was supposed to be a clown at your birthday party. No, he didn’t show up. That’s a bummer.
The question is: how long should you mourn the loss of the clown? How much more of your party are you ready to sacrifice?
Read the rest, here, and consider.
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Left-wing politicians and officials at HMRC dislike the gig economy because it doesn’t conform to their model of what work should be.
Yes, welfare and regulation need to be adapted, but changes should go with the grain of modern employment rather than against it. Not least because it’s what so many people actually want to do.
Read the rest in The Times, here.
A wilful determination to see participants in the gig economy as helpless victims risks destroying the very real value that sovereign professionals both provide and enjoy.
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We get what we deserve. So says Seth:
Every once in awhile, someone steps up and makes something better. Much better. When it happens, it’s up to us to stand up and notice it. Which means buying it and consuming it with the very same care that it was created with.
Read the rest, here.
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Great reminder from Seth Godin: beginning is underrated.
Begin. With the humility of someone who’s not sure, and the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible.
The rest, here.
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Short but interesting article on how business is responding to the rise of sovereign professionals by using this new, highly skilled and flexible workforce to power more agile and innovative business models.
This idea has been bubbling around for a few years. Back in 2012, Andrew Burke‘s research showed how freelancers contributed to both agility and innovation within firms (The Role of Freelancers in the 21st Century British Economy). Burke is now Dean of Trinity Business School and Chairman of the Centre for Research on Self-Employment.
Of course, the Irish management writer Charles Handy foresaw all this in his 1990s books The Empty Raincoat (1995) and The Age of Unreason (2002). The ideas, however, finally seem to be gaining critical mass and traction with larger businesses.
In the last couple of years, Accenture have identified the move as one of the key trends in their annual Technology Vision:
Firms like MeasureMatch (a client of mine) are appearing to answer the need for reliable, responsive marketplaces to match buyers with the sovereign professional suppliers.
It’s an exciting time to be a sovereign professional.
History Today has a piece by David Long on the employment status of the average priest in Medieval times.
As various professions like Law were emerging, the Church was well established as a career of choice, easily overlapping power in the secular and spiritual worlds. A young priest from a well-heeled family could afford a good education and a professional role as a prince (or at least senior manager) of the church.
The average priest-in-the-street, however, had more of a portfolio career, picking up priesting gigs in the neighbourhood and mixing those with other consulting and “enforcing” jobs.
Long parallels this “hollowing out” of the front-line parish profession with today’s “ever more casual and commercialised” professions.
I think it’s simply another reminder that our perception of work as a solid, predictable, 9 to 5, 18 to 65, activity is a relatively modern (and fleeting) construct of the Industrial Revolution. Work wasn’t like that before, and it won’t be like that after.
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Seth Godin makes an interesting observation on the meaning of “competence”:
It doesn’t take a genius to see that competence is no longer about our ability to press certain buttons in a certain sequence. Far more often, competence involves the humanity required to connect with other people, in real time.
The wider point is that the more that AI and tabloid-terrorising robots accomplish, the more important will be the “human” skills that technology can’t offer. As Seth says,
It requires emotional labor, not merely compliance.
And, of course, that is where the sovereign professional – whatever his or her particular field – will add value and earn the rewards.
Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash