Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ You Work in a Community, Not a Company

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Jun 28, 2007

Responding to Jay Cross.

"It doesn't work to take one from column A and one from column B, e.g. secrecy and transparency are opposites. Competition and collaboration are the same deal."

Ah ha! I remember saying something like this on this very blog, not so long ago. :)

"What should a person do if they find themselves in a non-believing, ice-age organization?"

Make your own rules, make your own job. Work not just in your organization but in your sector, your community. Carve out the appropriate niche for yourself no matter where you are employed. Move on if your employers don't recognize your value.

Look at anybody who is a leader is this space, or any space. It is not a person who did their job. It is a person who *changed* their job by either redefining their existing responsibilities or creating a new position (or company) entirely.

"What's the most enlightened thing to do here? I'll post this issue to the Internet Time Community in case the discussion grows lengthy."

Again - understand that while you may work for a company, your work environment isn't defined by - or limited by - the company. You work in a community, not a company. You may be paid by the company but your job is defined by the community and, if you're doing it well, you're serving the community.

Remember that you don't work for the company, you work for yourself. The company is merely your largest (and perhaps only) client. Keep in mind that the company will not hesitate to terminate your position, redefine your role, or do any number of things that will not be in your best interest. You have to watch out for yourself.

In the meantime, the company will watch out for itself. It doesn't need a whole lot from you, beyond what you've promised to deliver to it. What the company does is up to the company. You aren't going to change the company - it will have to change itself (that is, the owners or executives will have to reach their own change of heart and attitude on their own).

The best you can do is to show what your (newly defined) work and (personally defined) attitude can bring to the company. As publicly as possible, document and record, should you ever need it for a promotion case (or job interview).

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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