May 3, 2023

The cat’s out of the bag

I see City bosses are clamouring for a return to office working again.

I wonder why?

Are they worried about rents on empty offices?   Those are effectively a sunk cost.

Are they worried about their teams’ jobs or wellbeing?  I doubt it.

Are they worried about ‘losing control’?  Are they bullies then?

Is it about status?  What’s the point of being a boss when there’s nobody around to see it?

Or could it be that when frontliners demonstrate that they can achieve better results without supervision, intervention and commutes, it’s the manager’s job that’s redundant?


It seems to me that for a long time, traditional corporate management has been about pushing risk and accountability downwards to the people who do the work, without giving them the rewards to match.  Now the cat’s out of the bag.

It’s going to be hard to put it back.

Better then to follow through instead, and give people what they really want:

  • Agency – to make their own ‘me-shaped’ dent in the universe.
  • Mastery – to learn and master (even teach) new skills.
  • Autonomy – to be free to choose how they make their dent.
  • Purpose – to do this for something bigger than themselves, that has meaning beyond the sale.
  • Community – to do all this with ‘people like us’.
    • Status – to know (and for others to know) where we stand in our communities.

Supported of course, just not necessarily in the form of management.

Discipline makes Daring possible.


What do you think?