One thing I have found as I have got older is that it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between a genuine grouch at the changing world, or my rose tinted view of times gone by.
In this case however, I will go out on a limb and say that I honestly believe that the C Word is a scourge on the modern world. A debilitating, lingering, draining waste of time and effort. A disruptive, negative and passive aggressive battering ram grinding you down.
That C word is COMPETITION.
I have spent the majority of my working hours sat in an office. Over 25 years I have seen this word grow. No longer to be found in a minority of cnuts but now to be found in almost all levels of a given organisation. Coercion and conflict are now positive traits, encouraged appropriately.
I am baffled by this. Baffled by it's intentions and baffled by it's effects. I am in fact completely dumfounded by the fact that the C Word has made not the blindest positive impact on productivity or quality. Not one jot.
I am incredibly lucky to have worked in the creative industry for a time. An industry where ensemble and collective effort are paramount. I am not for one second suggesting that this is universally achieved. Absolutely not. The creative industry has more than it's fair share of cnuts. But generally speaking ensemble is encouraged. That is the aim; the desire. When it clicks the effect is truly magical. To be part of something that is greater than the sum of it's parts is in equal measure humbling and uplifting. There is something very brave about joining forces with others, understanding relative strengths and finding ways to blend and utilise them. Braver still to admit to your inexperiences and to look to the larger collective to help. A bravery that that seems to be discouraged in the wider corporate world.
Phew . . . that seems quite a rant. Probably time to clean those glasses, those with a tint of red, and look back more fondly. Maybe they work looking forward too? Where COLLABORATION might just be the C Word of the future.