E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Manifesto of the Passionate Creative Worker in the Age of Social Business

Gran Canaria - Maspalomas Dunes' SunsetThere are plenty of times, throughout our very own lives, when we bump into some wonderfully inspirational reading material(s) that, while going through them, reading them at a slower pace, with a smile on our faces, savouring each and every single word of that written piece, letting your mind go wild into deep thoughts of how profound the impact of that article may well be not just for you, but equally for those around you, that you just don’t want to finish it off any time soon, you get to realise, at that stage, that you may be reading perhaps the Top 3 article of your working lifetime.

Yes, you know, that kind of impact; that single masterpiece that will slap you left and right to wake you up, to transform your working life for good, for better, for everyone’s better, to show each and everyone of us not only why we do what we do, but also who we are for what we do. Every single day. Well, I think I may have just bumped into such crown jewel and, in case you may not have read it just yet, I would suggest you stop everything you may be doing on the side, right now, while multitasking, and read what I think is probably one of the most truly inspirational readings you would be doing this year, perhaps even in the last few years altogether. Please allow me to point you all to what I would consider an indispensable read for all of those knowledge workers out there, who would need to go for a little bit of a reminder of their own identity, as workers. Please go and enjoy reading “The Labor Day Manifesto of the Passionate Creative Worker” by John Hagel.

John, along with a bunch of really smart collaborators, has put together what I would consider some seminal, foundational piece of work on defining not just the concept of the (traditional) knowledge (Web) worker (Driven, in most cases by passion, creativity and collaborating with others sharing their own knowledge openly), but that one of the Workplace of the Future at the same time. 

To go ahead and reproduce the entire Manifesto wouldn’t probably be a smart thing to do, but I think I’m going to take the liberty of grabbing a few bits and pieces over here, so that you folks can see what I mean with foundational piece of work. The purpose, if anything, is more along the lines of paying a tribute to a genius piece of writing that is already hanging on my wall, right across my laptop, to remind me, everyday, why I come to work and why it matters. So I have decided to quote each and everyone of those mantras, highlighting some of the keywords that I have felt identified myself with all along, for years, and which I am hoping they would serve, as well, as a small teaser that would encourage you to read the rest. It’s also an exercise I want to do for myself to internalise each and everyone of those principles, so that on those weak moments that we all get exposed to every now and then, I can remember, treasure, rejoice, reabsorb, restart, and re-inspire myself to keep pushing the limits forward, because that’s what we have been rather good at all along. We just didn’t realise it till now. So here we go: 

  1. Live our lives, not someone else’s: We are the arbiters of meaning in our own lives
  2. Blaze new trails: “There is no established path to greatness […] We challenge the status quo, and in turn, seek out things that challenge us”

  3. Prioritize learning over efficiency: “Mistakes, while the enemy of efficiency, are the fuel for learning”

  4. Share knowledge freely: “We see each person’s enormous potential to contribute to our global knowledge base […]”

  5. Recognize that institutions exist to serve people: ” We don’t exist for institutions, they exist for us”

  6. Quit jobs that we hate: “There are too many interesting things to do in this life to waste time on things that don’t matter” (This is one of my favourite principles from the whole list put together!)

  7. Escape the trap of wasting time by being busy: “Being overscheduled, even with the best things, will cause us to miss the important things that can’t be planned, and will rob us of the most valuable opportunities of our lives”

  8. Live life for the adventure: “Life is as amazing as we make it”

  9. Stay on the edge: The people who change the world are out at the edge of their field, pushing back the boundaries of the unknown.” 

  10. Continually reinvent ourselves: “We know that passion is the key to personal growth”

  11. Never settle: Never. Ever. Not even once […] Let us join forces and help each other along the way to become better, far better, than we ever could alone

I am really hoping that such a teasing exercise would help you drop over John’s Manifesto, but at the same time take the pro-active approach of leaving a comment or two, singing up for it, making that formal commitment that you would be living your work life from here onwards embracing and celebrating each and everyone of those principles, so that we, together, can continue to up the game into bigger, greater, more meaningful things. In short, the workplace of the future. Our workplace.

I am sure at this point in time you may be wondering whether there are any examples out there that would be fully embracing and breathing the true powerful inspiring spirit of this Manifesto itself, you know, moving from the theory into the practice, and since we are talking about this in the context of business and our working lives, I thought it would be worth while sharing, perhaps, a couple of examples that have certainly made me think, a lot, about plenty of the key messages from John’s masterpiece. More than anything, because both of them truly show the potential of what we could achieve together. As one. 

The first example is another manifesto, The Holstee Manifesto Lifecycle Video, (Big thanks to my good friend Stephen Collins for sharing it along!) which is currently portrayed in another superb, rather short, video clip, that I can certainly recommend everyone to go through. It lasts for a little bit over two and a half minutes and the way it introduces itself across to everyone is with a single one liner that I am sure we can all relate to and would sign up for time and time again: Do what you love. And do it often.

The Holstee Manifesto Lifecycle Video from Holstee on Vimeo.

“Life is simple. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion” are also some of the mantras that you will see permeating throughout the video clip, which is just perfect, because they are going to help me introduce the second example that I wanted to share with you today. This time around shared by another good friend, the always insightful and thought-provoking Dave Pollard, who pointed us out to Doing it Ourselves, where you will see a beautifully crafted, rather smart, witty and mind-boggling video clip of about 12 minutes under the suggestive heading “What the Economic Crisis Really Means – and what you can do about it“, which would sound very fitting for the current econoclypse and financial turmoil we are going through and which, once again, managed to get the Hippie 2.0 side out of me. Here is the embedded code of the video clip, so that you can see what I mean. It’s probably one of those brilliant clips that you would want to show everyone out there to explain why we are where we are, but also how we can all start reverting the tide, realign and change, for the better, on what really matters: our mere survival at this point and here is why: 


Finally, in a recent article, If You Were the Next Steve Jobs…Umair Haque keeps challenging us to think different, to tackle good old known problems with new eyes, new insights, new ways of working, of solving those issues, together, as one, highlighting what I feel are some of the most prominent challenges that Social Business is facing in today’s corporate world. Basically, finding a new purpose, a new meaning of wanting to do things different, a new way where sustainable and responsible growth becomes the new norm, our latest mantra; this time around though to stay with us for a while, a long while, because, after all, we have always known what to do, and how to do it. We just needed the trigger to ignite and wake up our knowledge workforce once again and bring them back to life; then the rest will come up rather easily, on its own… How? Well, how about by fully embracing and living “The Labor Day Manifesto Of the Passionate Creative Worker“, as a good starting point?  Something tells me, perhaps my Hippie 2.0 side, once again, that we wouldn’t be that far off from where we would want to head towards to in, say, the next 30 to 50 years. Don’t you think?

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  1. Luis, I enjoy your blog and always find something useful, this posting is no exception. I would add a couple of things to John Hagel’s list. We should quit jobs we hate if we are lucky enough to be able to. But while not everyone can quit the job we certainly can choose our friends and spending time with negative doomsayers will undermine everything else on that list. There’s one other point too – every one of the 11 points is exciting and dynamic but sometimes it’s vital to do my point number 12. Kick back, relax. And forget it all. Guess what- you’ll not only enjoy yourself when you get back to your desk, you’ll be sharper than ever.

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