Thursday, October 29, 2009
Random thought this morning mixing ideas from nonzero.org and creative destruction. Basically, if you look at corporate history (as learned in my wonderful core curriculum in b-school) job and job descriptions have become more specialized and somewhat restrictive. White collar jobs are the new wage worker. This trend is likely to continue as efficiencies are wrung out of the system through focusing people on particular roles. Though these roles are more rigorous and challenging, they are still, by necessity, designed to be focused on a certain task or objective.
But, like all things, there are exceptions to this trend, which ironically also drive the trend, and that is entrepreneurship. At a new firm, there is little to no specialization, and therefore little to no role specialization - everyone does everything it takes to get the product off the ground. And the analogy here is to a craftsman or member of a guild. But along with the wide berth of responsibility comes the opportunity for creativity and expression (just like a craftsman). The irony, as mentioned before, comes when the firm grows and requires specialization, organization, and hierarchy, to continue its growth and achieve efficiency gains necessary to stay competitive.
Of course, then a member of THAT firm might leave to start his/her own company, and the cycle begins anew.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I'm reading this book on Innovation and it stresses the necessity to have toys, things to play with, to let your creativity stretch. And it makes me realize how as we get older, even recreation seems like work. Like planning a party. Or a dinner. Or even basketball. That same joy once experienced feels diluted.
We're all here wanting to be the next great executive but will we love what we do (or who we are) if we get there?
It makes me realize why I like playing Mafia Wars - it simulates that feeling of building something (which ironically is an organization of destruction, but that's just a minor detail). I miss that feeling. We have minds and hands, and perhaps my former is tired and the latter is bored.
I may go buy a lego set. Or some sort of tool kit. Living in slides, pdfs, powerpoint, and excel is as two-dimensional as it sounds.
Conventional is boring. The mean is boring. I want to be an outlier.