Fifty-five million years ago, a tiny Carpolestes, our earliest-known primate ancestor, reached for a ripening piece of fruit. That simple action, and primitive ‘occupation’, is a brief window on the evolution of work. With later cooperative hunting, complex tool use, and social living, work became part of our DNA and psychological make-up as human beings. In time, and with later brain evolution, work became a source of meaning.
Yet, many people now ‘work to live’. They demand higher pay over other rewards. Studies show that North Americans and Europeans are slowly withdrawing from work as a source of life meaning.
What happened? Many things, including changes in how we work. Work no longer fulfills deep psychological needs for some people. Other people have come to see work – all work – as a necessary evil, with each successive bad job experience.
We help organizations to restore the role of work as a strong source of meaning in people’s lives. When work is meaningful, employees have bigger impacts on their organizations, customers, and communities. Which brings us to this…
Since people spend more time working than any other waking activity, employees within organizations – across all organizations – hold the greatest promise for effecting change in the world. More so than politicians, protesters, and philanthropists.
Positive change, whether it’s in the form of a better cell phone or the eradication of malaria, is possible only when people organize. That’s every business, government, NGO, or any other collective. The work of people, everywhere, no matter what they produce, can be transformed in ways that drive not only extraordinary performance, but also improvements in society by the end of the work day. Ask us how.