If the prospect of work on a Monday leaves you cold, maybe it's time for a new gig. In the first edition of Monocle Mediterraneo, a newspaper produced for the European summer as an anti-tablet idea by the team from Monocle, here are 10 things to think about before you dive in to that new idea.
Against the sentiment of uncertainty and fear, UK publication Glass has curated its entire summer edition around one concept - rapture. Rapture is a word rarely associated with the world of business, yet it is a driving force for those in the world of arts, music, performance. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the edition, ones that moved me to think differently about what motivates us in work and life.
What is rapture for you? When was the last time rapture was part of your day?
"Rapture - for a split second there is hope and a notion that all I desire is within my reach..." Singer Lykke Li
"Rapture to me is a flash of pleasure, being delighted in the moment of something that you are experiencing. The greatest source of rapture to me is reading a page of a book that I love, to get completely lost in the text. At the same time I love to hear music in the background such as Manuel de Falla and to have a silent move playing in the background as well." Manolo Blahnik, Shoe Designer
"The sky. It reminds me of infinite possibilities and new beginnings." Italo Zucchelli, Designer, Calvin Klein
"A great piece of music gives one the sense of divine order in the world, as well as the experience of profound beauty that one could easily define as 'a glimpse of God'." Joshua Bell
"Opera. It moves me, makes me cry, makes me more sensitive, makes my life more beautiful, moves me to another reality. That's why, for all these reasons we are enraptured by it." Alexsandra Kurzak
"There is no remedy for love but to love more." Henry David Thoreau
"I'll lift you and you lift me and we'll both ascend together." John Greenleaf Whittier
"Rapture is a when something beautiful possessus us rather than the other way round - a moment of desire when our longing matches its fulfillment in an embrace, taking us beyond desire itself." Stephen Hough
We all want our customers to be so in love with us that they are prepared to line up for hours or days for our new products like they do at Apple. Or to want to work for us so badly that a resume is sent every 25 seconds like they do at Google. The reality is that generating commitment in an organisation over a long period of time is tough to do. We hear how we need to be creating movements and tribes of devoted followers, but some days it feels like an achievement if we can just get people to show up.
What is the magic that makes the difference? Institutions, organisations, tribes or movements that are able to sustain commitment from their people over time are generally successful at doing one of two things – making a stand against something or fighting for a cause. There is a third option of course – fear. And while some organisations and managers might still try to operate out of this paradigm, the reality is that it doesn’t work.
Tribes from the bohemians of the early nineteenth century through to hippies and rock and roll were all founded on the magic of making a stand or fighting for a cause. Or both. It’s a more elegant way of thinking about the idea of creating an enemy, mooted in the old leadership and organisational theory literature.
I once worked for a plaintiff personal injuries law firm. As far as being a lawyer goes, this is a pretty tough gig. The media and the public are not very enamoured of the practice area and the tag of ‘ambulance chaser’ is never far away. It’s hard to attract staff and hard to maintain enthusiasm amongst a constant flow of negativity from media, colleagues, family and friends.
The firm however had an amazing culture, every employee felt part of a fight for the cause of justice and individual rights. They recited speeches by the great US attorney Clarence Darrow. They were phenomenal at building a culture of success around the stories of their work, of celebrating being in David and Goliath battles. They fought some of the most high profile litigation in Australia. They even formed an association with Erin Brokovich.
Is Apple making a stand for great design? Is Google fighting for the cause of instant information access? Think about what your business does. And then re-think it. How are you making a stand or fighting for a cause?