Working with the outer fringes

I fully expect the next economy to work very well with the outer fringes of the global market economy. I've characterized those fringes as relational patterns, not typical segments like manufacturing, service, or agriculture. While the core economy collapses in the coming decades, these stars at the fringe of it will embody the right stuff to function resiliently and sustainably. The next economy I'm envisioning will interface with these stars effectively. Here's a glimpse at those stars and the ways they contrast with the fading core economy.

Improvisational roles: When we're stuck in jobs that provide steady employment, we're bored by the repetitive nature of the work. When we're free to improvise, we find new problems to solve, fascinating issues to resolve and complex changes to facilitate. We're enlivened by the variety, timing and challenges in the numerous roles we deploy.

Immersive engagements: When we're committed to the core economy, we have trouble focusing on our workload or paying attention to directives. We're easily distracted by the enticements online or in our surroundings. When we experience our working as a spacious network, we're effortlessly immersed in the challenges. We feel like we're in pursuit of something mysterious. We're living our questions and wondering what could be next in our space.

Design thinking: When we're cranking out products or services, we're seeking perfection and avoiding mistakes. We're doing things according to specs or on time & under budget. When we switch to design thinking,  we need to consider all the customers and their contexts of use, need and challenges. We see new ways to serve them, make a difference and generate further interest in our designing with them in mind.

Discovery systems: When we're caught up in delivering what's been ordered, sold or promised, we're operating in task mode with closed minds. We've been taken hostage by an all-consuming interior. When we switch over to operating a discovery system, we migrate to being amassed at the border. We're interfacing with those on the outside who inform the inside what's changing, problematic or opportunistic. We're practicing organizational learning which cultivates a fifth discipline for revising the circuitry of chronic problems.

Processing stances: When we've taken a positional stance, we make enemies of customers, allies and supporters. We ask for trouble by opposing our opposition and antagonizing the antagonists. We fail to see life as a mirror of where we're coming from. When we crossover to taking processing stances, we're free of all that manufactured misery. We see ways to work with what's happening and let things take their destined course.

Results Oriented Work Environment: When we think of work as a prison, we dread going to work. When work is something we accomplish, it can get done without showing up for useless meetings. We switchover over from obligatory compliance with counter productive procedures to delivering the desired results on time. We find we can do what we love to do in ways that make the most sense for us while maintaing a life "outside of work".

Benefiting from paradoxes: When we're convinced it "cannot be both", we suffer from the tyranny of either/or. We go from one extreme to the other, oscillating in first order changes. When fail to realize it is both/and, two sides of the same coin, or essential ingredients of one synthesis. Once we can benefit from paradoxes, we maintain balance, realize winning combinations and achieve transformational (second order) changes.

All of these relational patterns can work very well with an economy what minimizes consumption, materialism and monetization. These patterns at the fringe of the core economy can welcome the challenges posed by those of us seeking ways to evolve an economy that proves to be resilient and sustainable.

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