26. Big Idea = Operating System Upgrade

Inside Outsider

From Inside Outsider

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“Each big idea is an operating system upgrade.”

From Kat, a character from Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. She says we have the same brains as people did a thousand years ago: “We have the same hardware, but not the same software.”

A big new idea is like software evolving, like operating systems in computers.

A big idea we need to assimilate is that the world inside our organizations and the world outside are becoming one.

We used to think the workplace was internal to organizations and the world was the outside world surrounding us. There were strong barriers between the two. So strong that people who dared break out, even momentarily, were often ostracized and even outcast. That’s how some people ended up being gig mindsetters.

The world has come into the workplace in a big way. Most organizations do not yet realize it.

Two different spheres, melding into one

“In the past, the internal organization and the external world were two different spheres. Only exceptionally did internal and external workers collaborate, and then only in carefully controlled online spaces. In our expanded vision of the workplace, these boundaries will have blended to a great extent. We will see that most accomplishments and actions are carried out by mixed teams and groups—internal and external—working as one.

“In this new operational structure, people will identify themselves and be perceived by others based on their skills and expertise, rather than by which organization they belong to. The distinction between internal and external worlds will no longer exist. Employees will even move from one to the other and back again as needed.

We will talk about the purpose of project teams, without referring to their ownership or composition.”

From The Gig Mindset Advantage. (Page 179.)


Acknowledging this new world raises a fundamental question.

What responsibilities do we as individuals and as organizations have to ourselves, and to the people and world around us?

What are your takeaways? What have you experienced that you can share with us?

Please share in the comments below, or directly with me via twitter.com/netjmc, on https://mastodon.social/@netjmc or my website at Contact.

Check out my book, The Gig Mindset Advantage, a Bold New Breed, available in hardback or digital format from major booksellers worldwide. You can also request an invitation to join a community of gig mindsetters who share stories, frustrations, accomplishments and new project ideas in a private space.

Note: Inside Outsider will be monthly as of now. We are drowning in newsletters and email posts hitting us every day. At least I am! I want to help minimize the flow, yet still have a tool for sharing my ideas. So, I’ve gone from twice a month to once a month.

I have a monthly newsletter on Substack: Gig Mindsetters – a Bold New Breed, where I point out articles and sources of information I think you will find interesting.

P.S. Thank you for your patience during my long silence. The second knee replacement operation went well and I’m now back in action. No marathons yet, but walking in the forest already!

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