THE
MICHELANGELO
PROJECT

"This book should be compulsory reading for everyone. It is easy reading; your explanations and examples are really good…they very quickly explained lots to me. I couldn’t stop reading it. There are so many opportunities if we are all prepared to engage in some way to this move forward. It’s important we are nudged to keep thinking more broadly, to reflect on what we hear/read and do, on what we’ve seen, and allow ourselves to think maybe there are newer, better methods. You really are on to something…keep writing!!!!"


~ Elaine Robb, CEO, Encompass Community Services

"This book should be compulsory reading for everyone. It is easy reading; your explanations and examples are really good…they very quickly explained lots to me. I couldn’t stop reading it. There are so many opportunities if we are all prepared to engage in some way to this move forward. It’s important we are nudged to keep thinking more broadly, to reflect on what we hear/read and do, on what we’ve seen, and allow ourselves to think maybe there are newer, better methods. You really are on to something…keep writing!!!!"


~ Elaine Robb, CEO, Encompass Community Services

"Isabel Wu takes you on a journey from the beginning of change and those who faced it, through more recent periods and its impact on human work life, ending on how each of us could better approach current digital changes we now face. Using stories to empathise how change has and will affect us all, The Michelangelo Project offers the reader a better pathway to approaching, responding to and considering their current digital challenges, and how to benefit from them. One thing is constant, and that is change."


~ Russell Bode, Managing Director, Inzenius

"SmileyWorld has been a leader in innovation for almost 5 decades. The Michelangelo Project gives a deft description of the skills organisations will need to stay innovative in the decades to come."


~ Nicolas Loufrani, Beloved Leader at The Smiley Company

Is your career at a crossroads? Do you feel undervalued and unfulfilled at work? Are you concerned about job stability in a rapidly transforming digital age?

That the job has anything to do with what you want is one of history’s biggest and most enduring misconceptions.

We enter our working years with ideas of meaningful endeavour; that it will provide everything for a well-lived life: income, friendships, learning, participation and achievement. None was a factor in the design or evolution of jobs which were, and are still are, designed for the enrichment of the corporation.

Today we are no longer willing to accept that people get what’s left after enterprises have taken their cut. We see it in the push for work that fulfils, is secure and sustainable and offers achievements worth pursuing. Except, we don’t know how to make this happen. Training and education have taught us how to please our employers, but not the skills to do work for our human purposes.

Add to this the fact that the skills needed for working in the digital era aren’t being adequately taught, and it adds up to people having fewer choices in work or doing work that leaves them feeling lost, stuck, insecure and undervalued.

The Michelangelo Project provides a frank assessment of our faulty employer/employee relationship dynamic and empowers workers to unchain themselves from the broken system. Using Michelangelo’s story as a narrative framework, the book leads you through the basics of building your occupational value and creating the lifestyle of your dreams. By discovering your own opportunities and eradicating the fear of dwindling jobs, you’ll feel confident about pursuing your true passions and purpose.

In The Michelangelo Project, you’ll discover:

  • Best practices for a hyper-connected, data-driven world to keep you relevant
  • How to avoid the trap of a traditional employer-centred “job” and seek out “good work”
  • Your own personal definition of success to help you uncover meaning outside of your career
  • The importance of social capital and how connectivity and reciprocity will help you get ahead
  • Tips for becoming a self-learner and embracing internal motivation, and much, much more!

 

The Michelangelo Project is a unique handbook to help you find fulfilment in a digitally-amplified age. If you like cutting-edge insights, clever tactics from an expert, and strategies to improve your value and confidence, then you’ll love Isabel Wu’s transformative manual.

CONTENTS

Introduction – What is work?

PART ONE

Chapter One – Through the looking glass

Chapter Two – Fate & survival

Chapter Three – Empire building

Chapter Four – Money & brains

Chapter Five – Ouroboros

Chapter Six – The red pill

PART TWO

Chapter Seven – The road to tomorrow

Chapter Eight – Social production

Chapter Nine – Mass socialisation

Chapter Ten – The Lego lesson

Chapter Eleven – Models

PART THREE

Chapter Twelve – Michelangelo

Chapter Thirteen – Career

Chapter Fourteen – Work

Chapter Fifteen – Skills

Chapter Sixteen – You

Chapter Seventeen – Success

Chapter Eighteen – The project

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Business expert and organisation management specialist Isabel Wu has spent nearly three decades helping people build the skills they need to succeed in a technology-driven world.

Isabel wove an early career out of a mind-boggling array of jobs, including hospitality, administration, retail, tourism, recruitment, sales, marketing, management, training, merchandising and human resources.

Despite the support and opportunities that would have enabled any of these career choices to flourish, she would inevitably become frustrated and leave. Finally, she took time out to figure out why she, and obviously so many others, felt so disengaged by work.

The Michelangelo Project is the result of this search for understanding in which Isabel unravels the history behind our enslavement to jobs. The insights she gained by writing The Michelangelo Project, were reinforced by the lessons she learned through her early jobs, and later as a management consultant.

She discovered that it is enterprises that are organised to prioritise intangible human assets—such as teamwork, loyalty, reputation, relationships, skills, knowledge, and experience—that offer the most rewarding jobs. She also uncovered the indisputable link between these organisations and high performance. It is this quality that will also ensure organisations do more than just survive in an increasingly automated world.

Supported by more than a decade of research, The Michelangelo Project explains how organisations are failing to develop these intangible human assets necessary for jobs in a world where technology pervades our lives. With workers unprepared for the increasing number of processes becoming automated, millions are at risk of being left to endure inadequate and unrewarding jobs.

Now she’s here to show you how to adapt to unanticipated workplace revolutions and thrive in the economy of the future. Adopting the futurist mindset that the future is ours to shape, Isabel proposes the prioritisation of skills in ‘human’ work, like thinking, empathising, relating, synthesising, creating, and acting ethically—the things that can’t be done by machines—to refashion work around our human endeavour to enjoy meaningful work lives.

Isabel lives in Melbourne, Australia where she plans to open a centre to bridge the gap between traditional education and the skills needed in the future of business and work.

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