Playforce Principles

Introducing a modern equation:

C + I + R + V = future of work

The “future of work” is something many people throughout an entrepreneurial ecosystem think about, talk about, and work on together.

When everyone is trying to figure out the future of work, how have we arrived at this simple solution to such a complex, important, and constant debate?

It began with 20+ years of collaborating through connection. This experiential wisdom is wonderful, but thinking/writing/talking about education through the lens of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation has embedded perpetual learnings from students, educators, employers, and community builders. Along the way, “Playforce” was coined to describe a workforce that thirsts for significance through work that feels like play. In fact, an optional multiplier in this C.I.R.V. equation is actually having fun through an intrinsic sense of play. The depth of each variable (curiosity, initiative, real skills, and vocational knowledge) is also key to equalizing this complex equation.

This long-term focus has provided clarity, but this C.I.R.V. equation was refined through an ambitious collection of professional podcast interviews. In just three months, we orchestrated, recorded, and produced 55 fascinating episodes of You Don’t Need This Podcast. You read that right my friends. 55 thoughtful episodes of YDNTP were created in only 3 months, with a new episode now queued up to be released every week into 2024! During this prolific sprint, leaders boldly shared timeless insight linked to all parts within the educational system and related influences from throughout an entrepreneurial ecosystem. These were not quick chats. These were rich conversations with each special guest totally plugged in, sitting directly across me in a downtown recording studio! Navigating this many peculiar interactions sealed in the required comprehension that connects through pertinent perspectives.

Forecasting the future is hard, but action guided by the modern principles expressed in this new C.I.R.V. equation helps us activate exponential value as we continue building the future of work.

Linear

We use linear thinking in an exponential universe.

From a blade of grass on the football field, how can one imagine gaining a single yard? The first down marker feels distant at best, a touchdown seems impossible, and winning the game is barely comprehensible. A season championship? Yeah, that’s not even a glimmer in our mind’s eye. Trying to win all at once makes movement daunting, but staying consistent builds confidence and unlocks efficiencies. When space from this efficiency is used to stay innovative, what’s working is fortified as wormholes connect new levels of momentum.

We all know this.
Let’s dig deeper.

If a linear thinking is status quo, opportunity awaits those who augment their work through a cosmic perspective. As signals of product-market-fit emerge, understanding how each part effects the system will optimize what must work. This awareness leads to stability, which tempts most to coast along a linear path. People like us know that while it’s important to respect past success, such nostalgia does not guarantee the same results within a neon future characterized by constant change.

Yes, paving an exponential path takes endless energy, but we play for 80 hours to avoid working 40 and your creative eagerness can be nourished by a peculiar lack of routine. The goal is not more of the same. That will lead to similar, linear results. Instead, maintain what works, then keep increase the curve’s trajectory by feeding new ideas, talent, collisions, and action into the system.

You knew this was coming, but as always, an easy way to go beyond our linear capabilities is found in community. Community allows us all to do more with less. Curiosity, initiative, and adaptability activates diversified trust channels. Fresh feedback rewards a willingness to experiment and when integrity to follow up is applied, variables can be added to a more exponential equation.

Extra Shot

“Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it. It is much more about understanding than purely hard work.” –Naval Ravikant

Like the opening analogy reminds us, converting a slope of work from linear to exponential is not done all at once. The Headline Trap is distracting and we often assume it takes luck, but we make our own luck with every action.

As we leverage our own community-driven exploration, we uncover ways to earn more with our mind, not our time. The farther we separate time and money, the less we rent our most precious resources. Each time we find that next gear, the system unfolds and the rising slope of your impact, personal bandwidth, sense of peace, and happiness is set free to rapidly ascend.

Drams of History

Tej Dhawan is an advocate for entrepreneurs building within all stages of growth. He’s been building technology and has been connecting dots since the earliest days of the Des Moines startup community. Many may hear their name mentioned in this special relic and cheers to all that was StartupCity Des Moines back in 2011!

Now at Principal Financial Group, Tej serves as Strategic Initiatives Officer and helps leads innovation as an intrapreneur within one of the largest companies in the world. He continues to connect angel investors with Plains Angels and is always up for a good chat over great scotch.

You’re going to love this history lesson on Des Moines, Iowa, but no matter where you’re listening from, there are tons of takeaways that can be applied where entrepreneurs are leading the evolution of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Growing the Garden

Hit the trail and plant some seeds with Diana Wright! As the Startup Community Builder for Greater Des Moines Partnership, Diana is a leader who uses the art of connection to evolve the Des Moines startup community, while also weaving webs throughout Iowa and beyond.

Together, we explore building within complex entrepreneurial ecosystems, how to plug into a startup community, the importance of learning from failure, communities of practice, Startup Iowa’s Hot List, and ways ecosystem allies can push through a J Curve by adding diverse energy into the mix.

BONUS: Listen closely to snag a free NFT airdrop or the YDNTB audiobook as well!

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Future of Work

Nancy Mwirotsi is a nationally recognized wayfinder who inspired students to lead by outfitting them with skills in technology and innovation. Over the past 10 years, Pi515 has promoted diversity in STEM careers and graduated hundreds of students, with free programs geared toward refugees, young women, and people of color.

The real skills we talk about in this episode of #YDNTP defines the future of work and empower students to thrive through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Have fun!