Thursday, November 04, 2010

Work on What Matters — Social Edge

I'm having a conversation over at Social Edge on What Matters. Feel free to join in the conversation and share your views on the topic. Here's my kick-off post for the thread:

I was impressed when I heard Tim O'Reilly, one of the main thought leaders in information technology, recommending to all tech folks last year that they Work on Stuff that Matters. Tim's point wasn't that all tech developers should go to work for nonprofits, it was that people should step back and think about what matters to them. Life is too short to throw your professional life away on stuff you don't care about.

Like many techies, I came to work on technology because I loved doing it. We get a charge out of figuring things out, and understanding how the world works in a deep ways. Almost all the geeks I know want to do something important, something meaningful, whether exploring something new in cosmology, designing a building that could better resist an earthquake, cure a disease or design a new and faster chip.

I see this hunger for meaning in most of the people I'm privileged to meet: from the college freshman to the fresh grad to the mid-career professional and the senior executive. We all want to work on Stuff That Matters. And, the opportunities to do so have never been better.

Business as usual, done without regard to the big picture for society, hasn't worked out so well. There is a new wave of leaders who want business to both make money and do right by society and the planet. And, the same spirit of innovation for a purpose is affecting nonprofits and government as well.

If you're looking for a new job, look for a company or organization that offers the chance to work on Stuff That Matters. We need you to get engaged now, in business, government and the social sector, to build the better world we all need, and that our children and grandchildren will need.
  • So, how did you get to work on Stuff That Matters?
  • How do you make your team feel that their work Matters?
  • How are we going to shift expectations so that more and more organizations see their purpose as meaning through supporting larger society, not just their shareholders or their narrow product or projects?

Join Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech, in a conversation about how we can make working on Stuff That Matters the rule instead of the exception!

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