Episode 11: The Animals Around Us (& Making New Rules)

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Josh Allan Dykstra is a recognized thought leader on the future of work and company culture design. He is an author, TEDx speaker, and the CEO of #lovework, where they use technology to help heal burnout and create astonishingly great places to work.

It seems to me we are in a time that is crying out for cooperation.

A virus like the one that just shut the entire world down 

— and let’s pause for a moment and think about how monumentally significant that truly is 


well, we don’t know exactly how this pandemic started, but it appears to be due to an animal virus being passed to a human

That’s probably old news to you at this point

I don’t pretend to know all the techniques required for safe handling of animals, that’s not my expertise

but it seems to me this is a problem that keeps happening 

we’ve seen this kind of thing before, multiple times in fact, which is an indication that we need to take a serious look at the system behind the process

And I think this brings us back to the topic of cooperation 

Because it’s clearly in the interest of our entire planet to share whatever we all know about how to interact with animals more safely

The World Economic Forum reports that animals are the source of over 70% of new infectious diseases in humans

And apparently, there are 1.7 million animal viruses that could potentially infect people

We KNOW how to take better care of the other species that we share this planet with

And now, we also know we NEED to

Almost a decade ago in my book Igniting the Invisible Tribe I called out connectedness as an essential ingredient for the organization of the future

This word can maybe sound rather pedestrian, but I think our current situation is showing us in real time that this idea is more important than ever

When I say connectedness, I mean that what I do truly impacts you, no matter where the two of us are positioned on the globe 

and the fact that this is true should now be crystal clear

But connectedness also means we understand that NOW is connected to NEXT

Today is connected to tomorrow

What we do in this moment creates the future of our next moment

There are investments we can and must make as a species to prevent this kind of virus transfer from happening again

Why wouldn’t we work together to ensure healthy and humane treatment of animals everywhere in the world? 

In light of what just happened wouldn’t the crazy thing be to NOT do this??

Well, yes and no.

Of course ideologically it WOULD be crazy to not work together to fix these systems

But practically, I’m afraid it’s a whole different game

To actually do this, we would need an entirely different organizing story than the one we currently have

You see, many of the organizing principles we use to coordinate the way we live and work throughout the world have strong isolationist tendencies 

We see this in the nationalist and populist political movements that have emerged around the world in the last few years

And our separateness — not connectedness — is further reinforced by the undercurrent of competition that runs underneath nearly every business on earth

We’re incentivizing ourselves to “win” in a world of finite resources, which means there’s almost always a loser

It doesn’t have to be this way, but we’d have to redefine the rules of our game

Thus, a new organizing story for humanity

What if, instead of celebrating corporate champions, “self-made men,” and the ultra-wealthy, we celebrated things like discovery and exploration?

What if we measured ourselves on how much human thriving we could create for each other?

All of this is already happening

I just want to see it happen FASTER

Humans naturally move toward our picture of the future

So the more of us that can adopt this mindset, the more rapidly we can create it

See you next time

UPDATE JULY 8, 2020 — There’s a new video on this topic from WEF right here.

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