Making Business More Beautiful

Today I would like to pay hommage to a community of like-minded thinkers that provided some key moments of inspiration for starting the LeftFieldLab. This global movement was started by a guy called Tim Leberecht (read his book and blogs) who also studied something quite "left-field" with me in Germany; although we sadly never met at University. Tim then went on a deep dive into the underbelly of Silicon Valley to understand the inner workings of the "Tech Industry" to shape his latest start-up called "Humanity". In reference to an era that faced similar challenges to ours, they call themselves "Business Romantics" and many of the positions they hold resonate with my current beliefs about the future of business as well:

  1. We thrive in the tension between profit and meaning.
  2. We trust that by creating a more human experience of work, we will create growth and find opportunity.
  3. We respect cycles of life and honor the disruptions to those cycles.
  4. We pay attention to culture and context.
  5. We value service and sacrifice from passion rather than from enforced policy.
  6. We are curious and questioning.
  7. We pay attention to the intangibles.
  8. We value flexibility in how, when, and for what compensation we work.
  9. We are resilient.
  10. We are biological, natural creatures, not machines.
  11. We are thick, dense, and inefficient
  12. We shift from the rational to the intuitive
  13. We work with purpose and strive for significance.
  14. Our work is transformational for the people involved, not just about getting bigger.
  15. We look for new frames.
  16. We believe that the most beautiful route brings more value than the most direct route, and that we will find productivity through obliquity.

(also see the web for more detail on the WorkFuturesManifesto above)

One of the signature events is the "House of Beautiful Business" and in 2018 we will try and build a local community rooted in this spirit and hopefully also host an event of this type in Cape Town. This link gives a good summary of what happened recently during the Web Summit in Lisbon.

Please also see here for more information:
The Business Romantic Society
House of Beautiful Business
15 Toasts to Humanity