For several years, New Work is one of the chic buzz words. And the associations to it are agility, remote work, cloud work, cool offices, exciting architecture with great furniture. Everything framed by a bigger purpose and focussed on the human being.
It is the auspicious morning and the farewell to yesterday in the world of work.
That’s why I’m interested. And that’s why I really enjoy hearing the great podcasts that I really want to recommend to everyone. (Link below). One of these podcasts has led me to a central question:
Who decides? How are decisions made and how is responsibility organized?
As we grow up, we realize that we (ideally) part with our parents. That we take ours and not their decisions. This fundamentally changes the balance of power. And good parents see as their central task, to bring their children so far that they are able to make reasonable, meaningful and good own decisions. Being responsible for yourself. To start a family of your own – New Family.
Bad parents only allow the illusion of self-reliance. A mask in which mum and dad still prescribe the rules.
Does New Work mean that work is finally coming of age?
From a work in which „parents“ dictate the rules we arrive at work, in which we determine the rules? My experience is that New Work is often a bad scenery for Stone Age structures. Everything is new at once, but dad (or mum) is still deciding. You may do whatever you want, but dad must approve it beforehand. New scenery with unchanged structures of power.
Whether something is really new, we recognize only in power relationships, not on the decoration. Often people do not get more responsibility, just new duties. We tend to confuse that. Responsibility means I do not have to ask anyone before I respond. As long as I have to ask someone, I am not in charge, but only in duty.
Growing up means being in charge. Otherwise it is not New Work but only New Scenery. For many, that’s enough. At least for all those who have never really grown up.
This New Time needs New Work and not New Scenery. And that means: New Responsibility. By the way, this may also work in an oldschool office.