Why Work Isn’t Working and Envisioning The Future Economy with Jess Rimington
It’s a pleasure to speak this week with Jess Remington, an accomplished strategist focused on designing ethical, resilient systems for our future economy. Through her unique blend of historical analysis and imaginative experimentation, Jess challenges us to reconsider the way we work and participate in our economic systems.
Jess served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Global Project Center, where she co-facilitated the grassroots research initiative known as Beloved Economies. This project sought answers to fundamental questions about her current modes of work and the potential to innovate beyond them.
Engaging over 200 collaborators in a rich seven year discourse, Jess and her team uncovered seven principles to start a practice and commitment to reimagining how we work. The culmination of this deep dive is the acclaimed book, ‘Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work’.
Jess and her co-research Joanna Levitt Cray have received notable recognition for their work, capturing a fresh and compelling perspective on the evolution of our workplaces and economic structures. Jess is also the driving force behind the Beloved Economy’s campaign and movements to reshape narratives around our economy and work systems.
Join us as we delve into this exciting conversation with Jess and explore the possibilities of building economies that we can all love and thrive in.
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03:36 About her latest book ‘Beloved Economies’
- The genesis of the question ‘why work isn’t working’
- The book is based on eight years of research
- She collaborated with Joanna Levitt Cea after they were both seeking answers to big questions about burnout
- They were looking at organizations across different industries that showed other ways of work
08:20 What are the seven practices of working?
- These practices often echo common sense
- The 7 practices of a beloved economy and who is doing them really well
14:32 How they conducted the research and analysis
- From qualitative research and grounded theory
- They conducted from a landscape analysis and interviews
- Had an in-person meetup, where it was clear they share the same experiences but communicated through different languages
17:57 Some of the positive outcomes from organizations that practiced some or all of the seven principles
- A greater sense of meaning and purpose, joy, belonging, and that work became easier
- It had a wider impact on their personal lives and relationships
- There was a shift in how ownership functioned within the business
- They would set new and innovative standards for their industry
24:00 The ‘Seek Difference’ Principle
- Diversity is a proactive process
- It’s no tick-box exercise
- Build work environments that retain difference
- Diversity and inclusion in unique ways
- It’s how we build collective knowledge
27:51 How to have a curious mind when thinking about diversity
- We need to build everyday practices that instills curiosity
- Leaders need to lean in to the curiosity of ‘what else could be’
- ‘Economic imagination’ is quite restrained in the US
30:55 Commercial success metrics from the seven principles
- Retention and remain profitable
- High level of trust, loyalty and resilience
34:27 Business books that influenced the research
- ‘Emergent Strategy’ by Adriene R
- Why do these deep patterns keep appearing, yet they are not adopted at a wide scale?
- Books helped provide a patterns cross check
39:11 Addressing the Great Resignation
- We need our economy to change if don’t want anymore movements like the Great Resignation
- What are the end goals that we want to see?
- What is taught in management, has direct lineage to the plantation economy, like worker’s suppression
44:17 The role of the government
- There needs to be really important protections for workers
51:04 What do people actually want work to be?
- Humans fundamentally get great satisfaction and pleasure from producing for their community
- “We are intrinsically motivated to create”
56:10 The first step for implementing the principles
- Find ways to start the conversation
- It’s about both self-work and team work