Friday 21 May 2021

Doing meaningful things with meaningful people in a meaningful way

 Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 109.

I highly value the work and insights of Esko Kilpi who did a lot of research and consultancy into the challenges of knowledge work and digital work environments up until his passing in January 2020.

In 2017 Esko wrote this A working class manifesto. 

I often ponder the last line of Esko’s manifesto “Post-industrial business is about doing meaningful things with meaningful people in a meaningful way.”

Machines will soon do most of the algorithmic work, the simple, routine, and repetitive. In the process at least half of the jobs available today will be gone in a decade or less.

I’m excited by this.

I love the insight from Gerd Leonhard of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" as having more meaning than algorithms. More from Gerd.

I’m excited because as machines take over the boring stuff human work increases in value. The artisan is back folks. Human work is creative, collaborative, and meaningful.

Human work can also be rare as well as valuable and meaningful as Cal Newport beautifully describes in his wonderful book 'Deep Work’. 

One of the key reasons I believe we have moved on from the era of knowledge work and knowledge workers, and shifted to wisdom work and wisdom workers, is because knowledge is now accessible everywhere.

Of course knowing doesn't mean wisdom and as Stephen Covey once observed "To know and not to do is really not to know."

How to make the shift from knowledge work to meaningful work (wisdom work)

We can all do work that is meaningful to us. A key question to ask is: How can work that is meaningful to us be meaningful and valuable (and rare) for others?


Make a list of all the people you have working relationships with and over time converse with each person to discover how the value you exchange and deliver can be more valuable, meaningful, and rare to them. Then deliver such value.

It’s a wonderful life to live as Esko Kilpi so wonderfully put it “Doing meaningful things with meaningful people in a meaningful way.”

Become the wise leader you want to be.


No comments: