Do the extra mile, or fade away

The revolution of information technology came, and it’s transforming profoundly how we work, especially if we’re an office worker.

Office work is becoming an advanced commodity, that can be traded online.

The question is, do you want your work to be traded for cheaper online?

There is happy young hungry worker on the other side of the globe that will do your work for ten times cheaper.

Will you accept that your value added be traded against that person, or that is be replaced by a computer with artificial intelligence to some extent?

The question is not actually conditional. It will actually happen either way.

Now is the time to step up, to do meaningful work that cannot be replaced by a machine, or by someone that accept to do it for less, in worse conditions.

It’s time to do work that matters, that generates massive amount of added value. Work that include deeper collaboration with your peers, smarter ways to do the things we already do, removing the non-adding value tasks, and automating the ones that creative work to invent new products or services.

The work that we need requires passion, care and dedication.

You boss knows it. Products and projects are released faster. The cycles of innovation are accelerating. He can’t lead the change on all fronts. He does not want compliant workers.

He needs people who step up, who do the extra mile. Team mate that come up with solutions to the problem he does not know exist yet.

Today, merely doing the job is not enough. It is time to ask yourself:

  • What can I do to make my job easier?
  • How can I make my boss’s or colleague’s life easier?
  • How can I improve our process?
  • How can I improve our product?
  • How can I improve the customer relationships?
  • How can I contribute to make our organisation better, leaner, faster?

Consider starting with one hour a week. It’s plenty of time to make an impact. If you’re already drowning in labor, you’ve got other problems.

Make the time. You will get the results and the gratitude from your peers, and 10x the satisfaction for doing the right thing.

It won’t impact the quality of your work, but you will make a contribution that will motivate you for the rest of your working hours.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address

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