A Vague Sense of Unease

The vague sense of unease you are most likely feeling
Will not go away.
And it is best to keep it alive.

Use it to explore the ideas that underpin
Everything you do.
Use it to question everything,
Even, especially, what you have read here.

The next few pages will put forward an approach
You can use to address the sense of unease,
A way to begin moving the culture
Of your organisation from technocratic
To something a little more human.

But first, some words on marketing

Marketers tell me
I need to start with a problem you are facing
Propose a solution then show you how I can help you get between the two.
It’s called Problem-Promise-Process.

The problem you identify, so the theory tells us
Is a symptom of some deeper, underlying issue
Something you would not talk about publicly

For a business owner, it might be something like, “I don’t think I’m up to this”.
There is a reason the three most lucrative markets online are
Relationships, money, weight-loss.
They are easy to target and easy to

They tell me that I should know your problems better
Than you know them yourself.
I’m not going to pretend to know that.

Firstly, I don’t think it does either of us justice and
If I’m honest, I don’t think it helps for me to be trying
To second-guess the issues you’re dealing with.

Secondly, I find this insulting, quite frankly.
You are an intelligent human being.
You are more than capable of taking what is written here
And applying it to your own situation.
Picking the bones of it
And making the necessary judgement calls
As to whether or not it applies.

Instead, I’m going to invite you on a journey
That explores the framework within which you are working
The one we have broadly scanned so far, conceptually,
Then leave it up to you
To see if the problems you are facing on a day-to-day basis
Are symptoms of this framework, or not.

If they are, or if you can make a connection
Between the problems you face
And the framework I have described
Then we are in a good position for you
To understand how to fix the problems.

If not, you will have a perhaps frightening insight
To the workings of my mind.

I started my professional life as a surveyor
And mapping the landscape is something
That has stayed with me since.

So let’s start mapping the landscape
Of ideas and influences in your organisation
That create the environment within which you are working.

I know of no way to enter this gently.
There is no linear way to describe this
But writing is linear so we’ll need
To work together to bring this to fruition.

My work is to get this down.
Your work is to see if it gives you a different lens
Through which to view your work environment.

The three threads I want to draw together for you
Are those of mid-level management, change makers and craftsmanship.
The context in which I want to draw these together
Is the service sector: corporates and bureaucracy.

The reason I want to do this is pretty simple.
If we can work out how to render
Working in a bureaucracy fulfilling
The social implications are huge.
Stress at work leads to stress at home.
Let’s address the cause.

As a mid-level manager, you’re well-situated
To do so.

Happiness or Fulfilment