work 4.0

Digitalisation, Generation Y, crowdworking, work-life balance, Scrum, knowledge society, man-machine communications, blended learning, design thinking, avatar coaching, virtual teams: these are all terms that have arisen through high-technology developments; they require and promise the necessity of new forms of work. There are many opportunities to align work relationships more to individual points of view, to promote personal responsibility, instead of following the order prescribed by hierarchical structures. Processes and products can be tailored more intuitively, and there is a place in the dialogue of economic communities for the entire spectrum of human spirit, from intuitive recognition to emphatic perception to clear analytical skill.

A dream 4.0:

Progress is generated in a values-oriented manner, and an integral part of this is personal growth and the compatibility of work and your private life. Well-being and states of being need not be restricted only to weekends and holidays. Have we finally come to the point that we can reap what was sown so long ago? Technology can be on our side, yet it is up to us whether we can use it for our purposes, or allow it to dominate our lives.

Reality check versus the grandparent’s mindset

In his observations of the psychology of personality and development, Sigmund Freud developed a very interesting finding: The development of the superego, meaning the develop of moral authority and values, takes place early in life between the ages of 3 and 6. During this time we take in, nearly unfiltered, the moral values and conceptions of our parents, and make them our own. Because our parents also did this, we are living with a system of values that corresponds to the realities of our grandparents; this is not exactly up-to-date. It is a radically conservative realisation that we have received a moral mindset from the baby boomer generation that comes from a time in which the idea of leadership did not yet exist; management meant following processes and procedures and optimising them in a way that maximised profits. At this time, individuality and acting on one’s own personal responsibility were left outside of the factory gates or the company doors. However, there were already labour unions serving as an institutional authority for social negotiation.

It is time to bring ourselves into the present.