For a number of years the umbrella term New Work has been used to encapsulate new working styles, as well as formats and tools that help us cope adequately with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in modern economy. Generally thinking, New Work has been thought of as a fair weather approach: when times are good, then we can refurnish the office or pay for a creativity workshop or try new forms of collaboration. However, when the going gets tough, or we even switch into crisis mode, organizations quickly go back to established patterns of “old work”. Like stifling creativity through hierarchies, pushing stress down the organisation and taking vigorous (but often considered or unhelpful) actions on top of that. Then it seems, New Work themes do not fit the needs anymore as they are considered as “soft”, if not “weak”.
New Work Radicalism takes this on head on: Current crises are signs of a further (presumably) exponential increase in dynamics and complexity of the modern human work environment. Crisis call us to go forward – not to fall back on old ways. Crisis are an opportunity to really change the way we work.
In responding to this change pro-actively, the collective inner wisdom of all members of the organization is needed.
Therefore, we can make room and give attention to cognition, body, and emotion. This kind of mindfulness and awareness builds “the root” of an agile corporate culture that is characterized by “well-tension”. Here people actually have sufficient mental capacities to encounter complexity with inner wisdom in a creative and efficient manner.
Our call for New Work Radicalism prompts for an intensification of mindfulness, agility, and intrinsic motivation to respond to the crisis of old working models. We see opportunities for deeper interconnection and collaboration – rather than entrenchment or silos.
We are convinced that holistic resilience can only be reached that way. In this manner, we can master the crisis.