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#WFH: What’s Collective Individuality?

Howard Rheingold, a thinker and writer on the digital world, described the Internet as the greatest social experiment ever. All this technology has brought us the ability to analyze a collective consciousness. As individuals, we use technologies to connect, communicate and carry on our lives. As a global community, we have created a vast amount of data that can be analyzed and re-analyzed to reflect the state of human awareness. The tasks we are asked to perform are more complex and we are more reliant on others to be able to accomplish those tasks. The mundane and the repetitive are being automated. Computers, robots and other technologies are taking away responsibilities and jobs.

Managing the 21st-century workforce is about more than details like being on time, clear communications and follow-through. Important and admirable as these characteristics are, they reflect process not creativity. The industrial age was about efficient process but the new workplace is about independence and innovation. The age of the pajama worker is one of interdependent individuals, connected together by a common vision. These workers rely on each other but are independently motived to educate themselves and prepare for the next wave of change. Continuous learning is part of what they do to have a better today and tomorrow.

We connect as individuals but the totality of our connections brings us closer as human beings. It is easy to see we are more alike than we are different. It is easier to share our feelings, our humanity and our failings. It is much easier to accept our faults if we have collective evidence that we are not the only ones that have them. Our mistakes don’t seem so threatening when we know millions of others have made the same mistakes. This collective consciousness gives us a new perspective on what it is to be human and our place in the world. It also makes us more responsible as individuals because we can see how each thought, each conversation and each response contributes to the bigger conversation.

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