What is work? What’s your definition?

chosen path

It’s a deeply cybernetic concept – and it’s incredibly useful to realise this.

Gangs of men on relief work during the depression, 1930s, by Sam Hood

Work is:

>> ‘effort, to a purpose, using judgement and discretion, within boundaries, over time’. <<

(This is based on two definitions by Elliott Jacques, given with citations below).

Korean workers take their lunch break from their construction work at the Korean Operational Tactical Air Range (KOTAR). The KOTAR, assigned to the 51st Services Squadron, is being developed during Exercise Commando Crest

This formal definition turns out to be deeply cybernetic, and very helpful in thinking about this engagement. It relates to the ideas of ‘purpose’, ‘the situation’, and ‘sensemaking’.

Critical elements here are:

A fundamental and powerful idea. The intent to achieve something.
Purpose depends on context, framing, understanding, level of thinking and much more. The purpose and the context must…

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