Decrapifying work with Colin Newlyn

candid craic culture engagement organisation Apr 14, 2021

In this Candid Craic, we talk to Colin Newlyn about his mission to decrapify work.

Colin explains how, despite the rhetoric, we seem to be moving away from the trust and autonomy of the working conditions he experienced in his early career to a more command and control structure, often infected by bullying and toxicity, and replete with technologies, practices and processes that seem to hinder productivity and innovation.

He explains how he has begun to take the concept of self-organisation increasingly seriously, seeing it as a holistic toolkit that can create better organisations if only we could work out a way to strip away prevailing power dynamics. He further explains how he has taken up the role of an "agitator from the margins", trying to translate and interpret complex ideas into more digestible forms that people find engaging and useful.

We then take a fascinating journey into the golden age of pirates, with Colin explaining how they perhaps invented the democratic-participatory organisational form; why recreating it might not require the complex overthinking that dominates the market; and how simple truths and human-centric skills might be more than enough.

00:08 Hello Colin
01:08 Just what is it that Colin does? Decrapifying work
05:10 Moving backwards? On trust, autonomy and bullying
09:12 The Paradoxes of "Productive" Technology
12:08 Self-organising Teams - a new concept?
15:29 A Toolkit for Creating Better Organisations
20:02 The Pervasive Nature of Power Dynamics
23:30 Confident Evidence-based and User-friendly Agitation from the Margins
30:32 Be More Pirate - Teal before Teal, or Red-Level Culture?
37:13 The Practical Implications of Being More Pirate
41:54 Business Romanticism - some simple truths?
47:48 Optimistic cynicism, improvisational skills and a decrapified future
53:17 The Nine Trillion Dollar Question