Change at Work


Change is normal and has been so ever since a living organism changed to respond to the conditions around it. Change is ever-present and as a species, we’re perfectly suited to respond to it. We apply our creativity to respond to our environment - making ways to respond, like tools, and then making them better. That’s how we’ve made it this far!

People who organise to work together form a system. That collaborative system has a purpose which could be profit maximisation or, as a byproduct of its outputs, to improve the way that people live. A system’s success is directly attributed to its ability to adapt to constant change. That’s why you’ll hear us speak about our work as improving the quality of interactions people have at work.

Work systems survive by responding to external forces (market, geo-political etc.) and internal forces such as people in the system acting upon one another through ongoing interaction.

BlackBerry failed to adequately sense what was coming and ultimately failed to respond to change. BlackBerry’s story isn’t unique. Organisations which aren’t designed for creativity, the ability to adapt successfully to change, are bound to fail and they do so at increasing rate thanks to the decreasing cost and barriers to entry of trying something new in the market at scale.

The tension between the market and the organisation’s ability to creatively respond to it, coupled with the way the people in the organisation interact, creates a system in constant flux and it never lets up but that’s normal because everywhere you look, change is happening all the time.

When you look at organisations which regularly deliver compelling products and services they share the same basic building blocks. First and foremost they are deliberate about designing the experience and work and secondly their operating systems are optimised for motivating people. They are designed to activate Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in everyone, Dan Pink calls it “motivation” and we believe it to be the building blocks of a creative capability.

Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives.

Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters.

Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

— Dan Pink, “Drive”

Responsive organisations know that every interaction at work, like brainstorms, or emails or the way people reflect on their creative work, materially affect the quality of work done in the system. They understand that no interaction is so insignificant as to not to be designed and believe that everything is connected at work.

We want to help those of you who want to make work more human. To help those people playing for "Team Human” to use Douglas Rushkoff’s label to re-invent the way they work. This will mean changing the way that you work and operating in a way that allows people to be direct their own careers, enables them to tap into their creative potential do get better at something that matters in the service of something that mattes.