Innovation and disruption are words attached most of the time to a product or a process. It is interesting we do not spend much time focussing on the origination point of a new idea: us, the human being. Without passion and engagement, even with the best technological and scientific progress, I am convinced nothing can ever happen. Actually, we would not even be able to invent. This is the core of life-changing creations and innovative companies: the involvement and energy we are ready to put into it. It is hard to stay committed to a project if you do not grow in it, if you do not learn.
Passion is a key ingredient, but not the only one. We have to evolve in what we do. That is where we go beyond the limits and truly create, not only fall into a subway-work-sleep routine. That's where innovation happens. I have never met an entrepreneur or a creator who was not crazy about what he or she was doing, even during moments of doubt and tough times. What could happen in a world where 100 percent of us would love what we did? The question is really that simple, but could revolutionize our world.
That is why what we used to call and define as "work" has to be reinvented, or destroyed.
I was invited to join the conversation at the Work Revolution Summit in New York last week. The Summit started by this fact: 70 percent of workers are not engaged in their work. The Monday blues is an epidemic disorder. The summit wanted to lead a discussion on what could be next. Asking for meaning in your life is not a luxury. It is a legitimate ambition for any human being. It can take different shapes for all of us but we should not be ashamed to ask: Why am I doing this every day? Why do I want to spend so much of my time here? Work is not about work, it's about life and what we do with it while we are on this planet. It may seem like a selfish question, but self awareness defines how you impact your community. Doing what you love is more about the others that it may seem.
It is about you, in all your dimensions. During the summit, we talked about the future of work, but there is one word that I never heard: employee. I heard all about "people" and how we want to be ourselves in our workplace. We do not want to be a number, not a specific task provider, but just who we are, with our skills, talents and uniqueness.
Work is not only about a task to perform. It's about a mission and a purpose you attach to it. Once again, "mission," "purpose," "culture" -- all this vocabulary I heard so much about during these two days seemed more related to life than to work. Meaning is not a generational quest and all of us constantly look for that sparkle that makes the ride on planet Earth worth experiencing. Work cannot be separated from this calling. I know it always seems scary when we talk about work-life merger more than balance, but I do believe it is the best phenomenon that could happen to us. It does not mean we have to become workaholics who spend 20 hours of their days glued to our screens. This merger represents the idea that we should not have to wake up every morning to stop "living" to go make one. We are the same human being when we are in an office or enjoying our favorite hobbies.
I once said that the internet incarnates the "oneness effect" of the generation Y, referring to the feelings astronauts had when seeing the planet for the first time from space. From so far away they could see no borders or countries, just a beautiful whole blue planet breathing all at once. This oneness concept has started infiltrating the future of work as well it has the generation leading the conversation. There is not a professional life as opposed to the rest of your life. We want to be one, aligned with our values and our personality in what we do.
Work is going to be transformed by this new mindset. Maybe we should even kill the following expression. "What do you do?" should be replaced by "what is your drive?" It seems more accurate with what the future should be. A world where we know our drive, what makes our heart and soul expand. Pure utopia for the ones who have time to think about enjoying what they do? I am not sure. Finding your drive will become a necessity for many of us very soon. In a world where many of the repetitive tasks will be replaced by robots, our refuge will be our creativity. Albert Einstein said that "Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." Leave the data and logic to the computers. Let your drive bring you meaning.
The future of work is no work. It's time to kill it.
Work is dead, long live life.