We need a new work culture, one that is larger than company cultures, and one that is not the product of corporate mythologizing or the propaganda of internal communications. We need a deep work culture grounded in science and centered on the welfare — financial, psychological, and physical — of working people, not a shallow culture that glorifies bronze age charismatic leadership while downplaying the strength of emergent order that arises from the messiness of social self-governance.
I particularly like the idea of ditching the preconception that “work” is (only) solvable at the company level. The goal is that someday, private ownership and control of the places where work happen will appear unthinkable:
Just as we no longer allow companies to exploit child labor, or to do whatever they like with the land that they own — which led to pollution, overuse of resources leading to ecological decline, and the subsequent degrading of adjacent land, as well — just so we should not allow companies to be managed however the owners want, or whatever they can get away with.
I've spent quite a bit of time and energy on “employee experience” projects. Never have I heard a boss frame their thinking that way. Sure – people should be well. Sure – burn out and attrition are problems. But work is never thought as a science, and employee welfare is mostly solved by making complains go away. It's not something companies optimize for.
The whole thing is very quotable, and Boyd's body of work seems fascinating as well.
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