Why we need to rattle the cage

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Here in Melbourne, AU the days are sunny, crisp and the sky is still blue although the threat of colder months is looming.

We’re playing with some interesting challenges at Tank and I’m also putting some work into some new features to this weekly journal which I’ll roll out soon. Strategy Masterclass enrolments will reopen in May so keep an eye out for that.

This week I learned a thing or two about humility and vulnerability.

For me, it’s never been difficult to share stories and ideas with another person. It’s what I do for work and it’s an intrinsically important part of my character.

Last week’s article shared a very personal moment I experienced as a teenager that reflected varying aspects of my career. The feedback I received was overwhelming to say the least - there are emails I received from readers that I’m yet to respond to.

It validated for me, that being vulnerable, transparent and humble allows you to connect with people on a more meaningful level.

A simple insight I know, but an important one. Which brings me to today.

I spend some parts of the week walking around thinking about what I’m going to write here for you.

I see it, not as an obligation but a privilege to have my ideas and insights welcomed in the way they have been since beginning this weekly journal over two years ago.

Inherent in most of the articles on my website is the ongoing call to push against the grain. To challenge the status quo and to never settle for industry norms.

This week I kept asking myself a series of simple questions.

Why bother?
Isn’t it easier to keep our heads down and arses up?
Shouldn’t we pay our dues and climb the ladder?
Wouldn’t we have less stress in our lives if we just shut up and listened?
Shouldn’t we just work those late nights and get on with it?
Shouldn’t we simply accept that ‘the best’ is reserved for the few?

Fuck no.

Our industry is relevant and it is becoming more and more relevant as the clock ticks. The landscape is shifting around it and we have enormous opportunities at our fingertips. This means you are relevant, and your voice matters. This means you can create a meaningful ripple in an important and vast ocean.

Our industry is technology, design and innovation - an industry of creativity, craft and evolution. Our disciplines are maturing, and more and more, our working lives are being reinvented, forcing us to rethink what we mean when we say ‘work’.

We are working remotely, our teams are ‘self-organising’ and ‘cross-functional’ and our clients no longer fit a traditional mould. For they too are evolving.

We need to listen to the difficult questions as much as we need to ensure we ask them. The questions that some of us were too afraid to ask when we were first starting out - accepting a false reality for far too long - these are important questions.

We have to realise, young and old, that we are remarkable people you and I. We are both creative and strategic. We take ideas from nothing to something and beyond. We start and we finish. We imagine and reimagine. We create and invent.

Your voice is an important voice and it needs to be heard. It’s valid. It’s relevant and it can’t exist in quiet docility.

We can’t be the wild animal in the cage, waiting to be fed by its keepers. We have to formally grip the bars of this cage and shake them hard.

If we are to continue to evolve, stay relevant and grow and stop from becoming dinsoaurs in a museum;

we need to rattle the cage.

See you next week

When time flies by

The Tao of Pooh