Episode 12: Just A Few Thousand Tiny Changes

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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.

If you watched the last episode, you might be noticing something a little different today.

Or, more accurately, you might be seeing just a few thousand tiny changes on top of my head.

Since we last saw each other, I got a haircut.

But right now, this typically mundane activity was actually quite an ordeal.

In case you should stumble upon this video months or years after the fact, right now, many locations in the U.S. are still on stay-at-home orders, while others are starting to re-open. 

My stylist was among those able to reopen, and I was her very first mask-wearing customer in this new reality.

But even getting my hair cut caused me a tremendous amount of anxiety.

There’s a general sense of confusion in this moment about what the “right” thing to do is, and frankly, we’ve got a black-hole-size vacuum of leadership.

When we tap into our intuition, many of us can feel a conflict, a tension, in the air.

Intellectually, at least, it’s a fascinating battle, one that’s primarily going on behind the scenes in people’s psyches and then being played out in the media.

And the war is this…

Public Health vs. Economy

And at some level, I get it. 

We’re all terribly tired of quarantine, and we miss the lives we had.

On top of that, the financial struggle is very real for a whole lot of us.

There’s a lot nuance in this debate — Public Health vs. Economy — but I do have a related question, which is…

Why is this a “versus” at all?

Public Health VERSUS Economy

Why does it have to be one thing OR the other?

Why have we built a system of living, working, and playing where a battle between the health of citizens and our way of working is a battle that’s happening at ALL?

Doesn’t it make more sense for the way we’re working to actually HELP people live healthier, freer lives? 

If the way we work isn’t doing that, I tend to think our failure is how we’ve set up the way we work and the economy that results.

No one forced this way of living and working on us… why do we insist on propping up these false dichotomies, like Public Health and Economy?

These aren’t things that should be at odds with each other.

They are things that should serve each other.

There are different ways to work, live, and play than the zero-sum way we currently think about it.

If we step back, and zoom out, I think we’ll see that the Public Health vs. Economy war is actually a “front” — it’s obscuring the thing we should actually be talking about, which is reinventing a healthier way of working.

ways that help us get healthy and stay healthy. 

Work could do this

Our economy could do this too — it would need some new ground rules, but what’s stopping us from making those??

As you might know, I fully believe that work can help heal the world.

And I also know there are a lot of things that need to happen between “here” and “there.”

I know it can feel overwhelming to think about reinventing things like the economy at the system level.

But I think it helps when we don’t look at it as one giant change — because it won’t be.

It’ll be thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people just like you and me who decide to change the one thing they can change.

Each of us taking the one step that we can take.

So, what can you do? What’s your sphere of influence? 

In what deliberately small way can you be the change you want to see?

Like a haircut, I think a better future for all of us is just a few thousand tiny changes away.

Which isn’t such a big deal if we all do it together.

See you next time.

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