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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

God's Work and the Knowledge Economy

It was four years ago that I was told by a then-prominent GR strategist that all things mental health was God's Work - as in, something mortals wouldn't be bothering with, and therefore did not present a business opportunity.
What I said then is the same thing I say now - that as we shift from a predominantly industrial economy to a knowledge-based economy, mental health would inevitably be re-framed from a sad reality on the periphery of society to a barrier to economic and social functioning. 
It's about more than "crazy" people or reactive treatment to conditions.  Mental health, like all health, is impacted by our physical environment and interactions with others; as such, mental illness can be accrued.
Beyond this, there's the non-illness side; we hear more and more about the need for innovation, improved communication, improved workplace culture, civic engagement, so on and so forth.  How do you motivate and catalyze all this stuff?  Well, how does motivation work in the first place?
This isn't an art - it's a science.  If you don't believe in science, though - if you think being tough or ruthless is all it takes to get ahead in this world, and to hell with the weak - you're not buying this.  In fact, you're actively undermining these facts because they aren't convenient for you.
Survival isn't about being tough, though - it's about being adaptable.  It's as true for industries and societies as it is for individuals.
The trouble is, this big-picture stuff can't be reduced to bullet-points or short-term ROI reports.  It's not a service in search of a market - it's a reality that people have to accept.
We're starting to get there, as this indicates.  But we have a long, long way to go.

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