Challenging your professional life
We’ve got to ask, what’s your current status in these surreal times? Are the Rebels at home, at the office, and how do you cope with the situation?
As Rebels, we adjust to the new situation quite rapidly. Yes, we predominantly work from inside our homes, where we combine our projects and helping to teach our children. We didn’t close down the office formally; we like to emphasize the individual responsibility of each of our co-workers. Sometimes it is more convenient to work a few hours at the office. However, most of us prefer to work from home. It is heartwarming to see how many social activities Rebels organize to stay in contact. We have the Rebel Spotify playlist; we have the remote ‘bring your own drink’ Friday afternoon party, we have team members calling each other.
Speaking of challenging your professional life: the current situation is a challenge most of us have never experienced in their lives. What’s your advice, from a professional point of view?
If there is one striking thing, it is the changes that were unthinkable before the Corona crisis that has proven to be possible during the crisis—working from home, remotely, joining team meetings through skype, zoom or Microsoft teams. Also, we see new forms of solidarity occurring. Owners of companies working together with employees to prevent lay-offs, new financial arrangements between companies and real estate owners. There is a common interest to sail through the crisis together. So our main advice is to start to think now how you want to structure your company; do you want to continue the distinction between employer and employee, do you want to keep the situation in which the capital providers own the majority of the company, do you really need (so much) management?
‘ Pursue your dreams and your gut feeling. ’
‘ Pursue your dreams and your gut feeling. ’
What was the primary reason for you to create this book?
We thought it was time to evaluate our own development as a company. An oppurtunity was presented to us in the form of the theme of a Dutch cultural week related to books. The 2020 theme was about the value of rebellion; why is it essential to have rebels? Why should we embrace them? Such a question, presented to a company called Rebel demands an answer. Our answer lays in the contribution of our book.
What is the most crucial lesson professionals can learn when they’ve read the book.
You—as an individual professional—can determine the course of an organization. It is not the top-level executives who determine the course of history. Individual experts are often the ones with the brilliant ideas. Pursue your dreams and your gut feeling. In doing so, we are convinced that any professional may materially change the current structure of their own company, which is often based on too easily accepted conventions.
How does this management book differ from other management books?
We didn’t write a management book; we wrote a book about how to challenge your professional life. It is not a how-to book; it is a coffee table book that will make you think (hopefully). One of the observations in the book is that organizations can perform surprisingly well without management. This is probably not your everyday management book observation.
Did the making of this book challenge your own professional life too? And, did it teach you anything about your own company, Rebel?
One thing is for sure; together, all of us can make a book, but none of us could have made the end result individually. It is a team effort. By opening up, and really working together, the most beautiful things can be created. We only made sure that there was an electrifying moment at the start; the rest is history.
You must have had an idea of what this book would look like, beforehand. Has it become what you had in mind?
We only had the ambition to write a book; so what came of of the process is entirely not what we had in mind, and at the same time, the end result is 100% Rebel.
If you Google ‘management book publishers,’ you will not find MENDO on the first 26 pages. What made you decide to do this book with us?
We chose MENDO because you are Rebels too. MENDO is trying to change the existing status quo in the book publishing industry. We like that, and we knew that there is one thing that we couldn’t do ourselves and that is the creation of a style in of the book.
Lastly, how do you think the post-Coronavirus professional-life will look like?
If the Coronavirus lasts for a long time, the chances of real change become greater. We don’t hope that it will last long, but we expect real changes to happen.
At MENDO we love to be inspired by everything visual. The images in this edition of visual inspiration were selected by Rogier van Schaik, Junior Publisher at MENDO.
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