Before The Weekend #8 — 07 May 2021

From roles in boxes to skills in projects; should wealthy people be involved in our health; the Disney kiss and cancel culture. A diverse set of topics for this week’s Before The Weekend.



From roles in boxes to skills in projects

Around the globe, due to the pandemic, millions of people have been working from home. This has meant that we had to reinvent how we organize ourselves, how leaders lead and how workers work.

Traditionally, work was organized around the roles and boxes that we put people in. Now we’re shifting towards a system where we look at which skills are needed to realize a particular project. Those skills will be provided by a combination of in-house employees, contingent workers found in talent marketplaces, and machines.

As this totally puts into question the traditional ways of working, it will also require a very different kind of leadership. Leaders will still determine the direction and help people execute their tasks to achieve that target. At the same time, workers will be more directly involved in choosing the projects they want to be involved in and thus, the leaders they’ll work for.

This of course means that as a leader, you’ll need to be much clearer on your purpose and the way you intend to work together with your team, if you want to attract the talent that is necessary for your projects.

Should wealthy people be involved in our health?

This week one of the most inspiring couples with a noble purpose, Melinda and Bill Gates, have decided to separate. This has brought much attention to the question of what will happen with their foundation. It led me to a different but related question: should wealthy people be involved in our health?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a huge capital of over 40 billion USD, so they have the capacity to spend billions on an annual basis. This easily surpasses the annual budget of several states and governments for health research, vaccines, education etc.

The Rockefeller philanthropy report of 2020 analyzed the spending of over 200 of the wealthiest families in the world, with on average a capital of 1,2 billion USD. We see them spend in areas such as societal transformation, stopping social inequality, pure charity and alike.

So is it a good thing that these rich people are spending so much money and impacting society? Shouldn’t this type of spending be limited to local or regional governments?

I, for one, think it’s a wonderful thing to do. With the right intention and a clear purpose, this type of philanthropy can be a great benefit to society. I’d even go further and say that it is an obligation, as they’ve been able to create that wealth thanks to the system in which they operate. They are giving back to society.

For me, the best approach would be to see private wealth and government budgets as complimentary. Both will be dependent on each other, as the governments likely won’t have such big budgets and the private individuals will inevitably have to operate within the systems set by these governments.

The Disney kiss and cancel culture

Lately, there has been a debate around whether or not a prince can kiss Snow White, to help her out of her symbolic sleep. This romantic gift of giving back life is seen by some as a violation of a woman’s right to choose and an expression of male dominance.

We all need to be conscious of the impact we have on others. I’m a proponent of free speech and while I don’t advocate for speech that harms other people, I believe in constructive divergent opinions. This is one of the reasons why I started Before The Weekend, to stimulate you with some ideas that may be different from what you are used to hearing and to help you form your own opinion on these topics.

I don’t believe that we will live with more flow, harmony or peace, if everything that exists and that was created within a specific context, has to be considered as no longer appropriate, correct and/or true. I’m against this cancel culture, where everything is being revisioned. But I’d of course like to know what your opinion is!

I’d like to end with a quote by Meister Eckhart, that’s quite relevant to this topic:

People think too much about what they must do, and not enough about what they should be.