These past two years have taught us all some valuable lessons. But, we haven’t yet recognized the change that these lessons have brought with them. I found a brilliant description of the change and the lessons laid out in a book. The book is titled Linchpin, written by Seth Godin.
Here are three lessons about our new world of work:
Lesson 1: There are fewer and fewer jobs where you can get paid merely for showing up. (Page 23) Instead progressive shops are looking for people who make a difference and they are shedding everyone else.
Lesson 2: If you want a job where you get to do more than follow instructions, don’t be surprised if you get asked to do things they never taught you to do in school.(Page 30) No one today is looking for people who need to be told what to do. Shops that are busy today are desperate to find talented, courageous, competent people who know what to do.
Lesson 3: For nearly three hundred years…factory owners wanted compliant, low paid replaceable workers to run their machines. (Page 7) We just lived through the last two years of management in our precision machining shops doing everything they could to keep their most talented, dare I say it, most indispensable people on the payroll.
We have come through an incredible change in business and manufacturing in the past two years. The days of business success being assured by having a high Percentage of Easily Replaced Laborers (PERL) is over. (Page 10) Low cost labor in Asia and former Eastern Bloc countries win that game hands down. The system of show up, do what they tell you, work hard, keep your head down, fit in, try to be average, stick it out, be part of the system, died an ugly death over these past two years. (By the way, it didn’t work so well in junior high either.)
THE SYSTEM HAS CHANGED. You know it as an employee. You know it as an employer. This book explains the change. And how you (and your organization) can thrive in this new reality.
This is not just a book for managers. This is not just a book for employees. This is not just a book for people who want the latest thinking. This book will give you, no matter who you are or what you do, tools you can use to make sense of today’s new world of work, and your essential part in it.
You have brilliance in you. Your contribution is valuable. What you create is precious. (In our industry, often it saves lives!) Only you can do what you do. Bring your best with you to work. We’re counting on you! (Page 3)