21. Creative resignation – leaving the old, building the new

From Inside Outsider


Creative resignation does not necessarily mean leaving your organization. Creative resignation can be inside your head.

I have witnessed interest in the gig mindset in people around the world who are striving to trigger change and looking for action! This is part of what I call creative resignation. Leaving the old and building the new.

But it’s hard, actually risky in some cases.

When people work on change, it is an adventure that is best shared with others. This is both smarter and safer.


Creative resignation is asking the question: “How can I find a new role, transform my work so I can live a work life with purpose?” Creative transformation is finding an answer. And it’s a two-way venture.

Organizations need to be questioning themselves, and not focusing exclusively on “How can we keep people?” but more broadly and strategically on “How can we build a work culture where people want to stay?”  The reversed thinking is different.

Keeping people or creating a culture where people want to stay?

I wrote about this in a piece published by the Harvard Business review in January: How workers with a gig mindset can help your company thrive. In fact, I’d say “help your company survive”!

From an old to a new work life

I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I wrote The Gig Mindset Advantage which was published a year and a half ago. Based on the feedback I’ve had, I know that the book has inspired people to understand their own behaviors, change their work lives, adopt new behaviors in spite of potential obstacles. It has inspired a few organizations – though not as many as desirable! – to question their status quo, and to develop practices that are more interactive, satisfying and purposeful for employees and customers.

In spite of some opposition from management, more people now feel confident to take initiatives, experiment with new ideas and ways of working. They share their work openly, looking for feedback from other people. They keep their eyes on what’s happening in the external world. They often come up with new ways to deal with problems and challenges. Progress is slow, but from what I see it IS happening.

Above all, people are realizing they are not alone. There may not be many of them in their own organization, but there are lots of people scattered around the world who are struggling to make lasting changes.

I’ve seen this personally, firsthand, for the last year and a half, from initiatives I have been involved in. In each case, after the event, I got emails and notes from people who said my message rang a bell.

Two (rare) management-level people shared with me their views of the gig mindset. A manager in a global transportation company in Scandinavia believes it is a priority to retain people with a gig mindset:

  • “If I, as a manager, don’t encourage the gig mindset, I will lose my own motivation and, in the end, the best people.”

A CEO in a mid-size US-based company considers it a strategic advantage:

  • “The gig mindset is the real competitive advantage for the future.”

Comments like these, and others, convince me that Gig Mindset Circles have an important role to play.

The gig mindset journey is essential for us all!

About the book The Gig Mindset Advantage


Have you worked on establishing a gig mindset work culture in your organization? How is it going? Can you share a little with us?

Please share via Twitter @netjmc or my website

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