What is Good Work?October 15, 2012 10 Comments
“No good work is ever done while the heart is hot and anxious and fretted.” Olive Schreiner
I couldn’t agree more! We’re fond of a related quote that “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.” Bill O’Brien
I know that it’s hard for me to do good work when I’m fretful, exhausted or feeling insecure.
And, the assertion that you can’t do good work if you’re not in good shape internally has me mulling over the question “What is good work?”
As IISC enters our next chapter, I’m thinking more and more about how we define good work and how we will know when it’s happening. Here are a few thoughts about what makes work good:
- Good work connects your values and your actions. It satisfies a craving to express your purpose, and to do that in ways that align intention and impact.
- It’s about affecting the hearts and minds of individual people, and also about changing outcomes for groups of people.
- It’s about connecting the dots among people and groups, strengthening relationships and networks.
- Good work means making fundamental changes in how power is constructed and what’s considered normative.
- It’s about reordering how business gets done or how institutions function.
- It’s about redefining the “other” so that no one is outside our circle of concern
What would you add to this list? How do you describe good work? How do you know it when you see it?