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Signpost 02

The workplace should promote absurdity.

Signpost 02

Key Chapters: 3, 20, and 33

• 2.1 The inconsistency of logic in absurdity can help to create futures that were once thought to be impossible. p.9

• 2.2 Absurdity challenges the assumptions that have shaped the workplace as a temple to rationality devoted to the relentless pursuit of optimised production. p.9

• 2.3 Our dysfunctional relationship with absurdity might come from conceiving it as a by-product of our rationality, without any value in itself. p.118

• 2.4 Carnivals are little moments where people are allowed to be absurd, when the king dressed up as a peasant and the peasant dressed up as a king. Carnivals show the reverse side of the world where we have no choice but to see the world differently. But it’s only temporarily that we can upset the balance of everything. p.118

• 2.5 Disorderly environments can help people to break away from tradition, order, and convention. They activate a mindset that makes us seek novelty and unconventional routes. Minimalist design and desk sharing reduce the opportunities to make a mess and should be avoided to promote the exploration of new ideas. p.119

• 2.6 Foolishness can be used as a technology to escape the fettering logic of our reason. Play is an example of this technology because it allows us to deliberately, though temporarily, explore possibilities outside the rules of rationality. p.119

• 2.7 Organisations that best manage paradoxes will be able to create more value. p.120

• 2.8 Innovation is an important purpose of an organisation, but 90% of their jobs must be absent of absurdity. Organisations need absence of absurdity to deliver what they do, to complete the tasks. There’s no space for nonsense when we’re talking about coordination. p.121

• 2.9 Logic-based innovations lead to doing the same things we currently do cheaper and faster, but ‘absurdity-based’ innovations can deliver unimaginable futures. p.121

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