Episode 18: Are You On Team “Life?”

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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.

A couple months ago, my friend Kibibi posted a comment on an earlier Work Revolution episode that’s really stuck with me.

She said: “Without a healthy workforce, the workplace has no life, and the work cannot come to life.”

So simple.

So straightforward.

So true.

And yet, so… unpracticed.

By almost every measurement, we are a deeply UNhealthy workforce — and this has been the case long before the pandemic.

We can look at almost any human-related metric —  burnout, passion, disengagement, mental health, depression and anxiety, inequality, or even being bullied at work… every one of these items has been documented with abysmal statistics within the last few years.

Intellectually, I think we know Kibibi is right — that without a healthy workforce, NOTHING good happens — and yet…

The hard reality is that turning our organizations into places that heal us is a VERY big shift.

It’s not at all what most of us have right now.

Our workplace systems are optimized to do a few things — primarily make money — but almost without fail, what they’re NOT optimized to do is help you get healthy or stay healthy.

In many cases, it’s actually the opposite. 

Work systems aren’t built to recharge you, but to drain you.

There’s a powerful scene in a film you might remember called The Matrix where Neo wakes up in the real world and we get to see that the robots have created a gigantic “battery farm” out of the human race.

Well, our current companies are actually kind of a lot like that — they’re designed to make YOU the battery. 

The system feeds off your life energy to keep the machine running.

And I’m going to guess that “being a battery in someone else’s machine” isn’t what the child version of you said they wanted to be when they grew up.

“Without a healthy workforce, the workplace has no life, and the work cannot come to life.”

Being a battery is not the life you want.

It’s not the life you deserve.

And what’s the point of all this living, really, if not to have a better quality of LIFE!?

We are in a moment right now where our choices have never been clearer. 

We can continue down the path we’re on, but we know exactly where it leads because we’ve already lived it: more burnout, more mental illness, more greed, more inequality.

This pathway inevitably leads to collapse. 

It’s not really a mystery — it’s more or less the story we’ve seen with every human civilization that we know of.


We could turn this around — I’m thinking something like a revolution — and we could choose something different. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m on Team Life, and if enough of you are too, we can and WILL turn this thing around.

See you next time.

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