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Introducing: Reinventing Work

Published on Thursday, 4th July 2019, contributed by Mark Eddleston

An emerging global movement. We make work better, one place at a time.

Reinventing Work: Bristol turns one in a few weeks time. We’ve grown and evolved considerably since our first meetup in July 2018. So almost a year into our journey I thought I’d introduce what we’ve evolved into as of July 2019. Also to share how you can get involved and contribute to our growing movement as we continue to take shape and adapt.

In a nutshell

Reinventing Work is a global grassroots movement of ‘reinventers’ who want to learn and practice new, more human-centred ways of working. There are a number of monthly meetups around the world where we get together to share practical advice, explore ideas, and look at the patterns found in existing self-organising teams / self-managing workplaces.

Why? Because, globally, 85% of us are disengaged at work.

With your help, we want to help put this stat right. Reinventers participation is valued and you don’t need anyone’s permission to get involved with or to start working on whatever you are interested in. If it floats your boat and meets our purpose—making work better, one place at a time - then go for it!

Global movement?

That’s right, Reinventing Work has spread from Bristol to MelbourneAdelaideLondonBath and Lisbon. More and more people are reaching out and we’re chatting with and supporting others who are interested to start chapters in their cities. If you would reinventers who might like to start your own please get in touch—we would love to help them. Here’s a Trello board with some ideas on how to start your own chapter. 

New to new ways of working?

If you are new to this world but have a sense that work just isn’t working then watch this excellent 45 minute Google Talk by Aaron Dignan, Author of Brave New WorkIt’s the perfect place to start—I can’t recommend both the talk and the book highly enough.

A few excellent next stops include:

  1. Leadermorphosis: a podcast exploring the emerging world of self-management and progressive organisations, hosted by Lisa Gill. Each episode features a guest thought leader or practitioner offering their perspective on new ways of working.
  2. Corporate Rebels: a fantastic blog offering a wealth of knowledge, thought, practical advice, and real world examples of organisations working in new, better, ways. I’ve linked to an excellent article written by Lisa Gill. Also head over to their archive, it’s a goldmine.
  3. Liberating Structures: if you’re convinced (or curious) about new ways of working and want to practice some, I know no better place to direct you than the Liberating Structures app. Experiment with as many as you can!
  4. Reinventing Organisations: a seminal book on new ways of working. I prefer the illustrated version as it’s better organised and neatly summarises the full text. You can download it and pay as you feel.

Reinventing Work: where to start?

A great first action in your workplace would be to:

  1. Gather a group of colleagues for a lunch and learn to watch the talk above.
  2. Then spend time discussing new practices you would like to try, and old practices you would like to stop. Why not try a circle discussion for this.
  3. Seek to agree on a time bound, safe to fail experiment—try a new process to see if it’s more efficient, or remove a process that slows things down.
  4. Get a date in the diary to evaluate the experiment and to discuss new ones.
  5. Share the resources listed above and arrange a regular lunch and learn to explore them.

Reinventing Work: Discussion

Discussion between reinventers tends to take place over on Slack. You can join in here: http://bit.ly/ReinventingWorkJoinSlack. Hit ‘Channels’ on the left and join the discussions that sound interesting to you. If you have any questions or would like to seek advice on any aspect of new ways of working then ask away—we’re a friendly and supportive bunch.

Reinventing Work: Meetups

Come along to Reinventing Work: Bristol to hang out with and learn from others who are passionate about new ways of working. We tend to do a lot of meetup organising on Slack and Zoom (or similar). If you would like to get involved then head over to Slack and hit ‘Channels’ to find #admin-bristol. In the spirit of transparency we encourage working out loud in these channels, rather than sending direct messages between co-organisers.

Reinventing Work: Decisions

In between meetups, proposals can be made and decisions taken on Loomio http://bit.ly/ReinventingWorkLoomio. Everyone has permission to be involved in decision-making, to start a proposal and to ask reinventers to make a decision.

Reinventing Work: Blog

You can read articles from fellow reinventers about new ways of working and you can write them too! Let me know if you’d like to write and I’ll add you as an editor of https://medium.com/reinventing-work.

Reinventing Work: The Future

We know better than to try to predict and control this. We hope that there will be more meetups in more cities helping more people to reinvent work. But we don’t want to grow for growths sake, rather to make a meaningful impact in our workplaces—to make work better, one place at a time. It’s been a fun ride so far and it feels like we just got going!

Last year we bought reinventing.work and this year we want to make good use of it. I wonder what it will look like in July 2020? Your suggestions are very welcome, and you are very welcome to get involved and shape our future. We hope to see you soon at a Reinventing Work: Bristol!