Autonomy or Automaton?

It wasn’t too long ago that the only way for someone to find autonomy in the workplace was to either move way up the corporate food chain, or start their own business. Most people’s lives were dominated by the 9-5, 5 day-a-week work schedule of the typical corporate job. They were automatons, chained to their desks or their phones. But the internet and Global marketplace have changed all that. Now that so many important company processes are online, and so many clients are scattered all around the world, just about anyone can work from anywhere and anytime they want.

Jeff Gunther, and his software company Meddius, provide a perfect example of autonomy at work. All employees are empowered to work whenever and wherever they want. As long as they get their work done, Gunther doesn’t care whether they show up in the office or complete their project at 3 in the morning. Everything goes. This allows him to focus on what he believes in the key function of management: “Creating conditions for people to do their best work.”

Look For The Helpers

After the type of week we experienced last week, it would be easy to feel depressed about the direction humanity is headed. With man-made bombs intentionally going off in Boston, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and an unintentional bomb exploding in West, Texas all this violence and hate is enough to give you the sense that things are going very wrong. But, as is usually the case in life, focusing on these scenes of destruction really doesn’t give us the full picture. Even during all the turmoil there were people doing good things, helping total strangers, proving just how great people can be when they are motivated by a sense of purpose. As I watched the news coverage for the Boston Marathon bombing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a famous quote by Mr. Rogers: