We all want to show up to work, fully alive. 

And then shit happens. Excited by a creative project yet stuck in anxiety. Confused by having an idea stolen, and the boss says it’s just business-as-usual. Wondering what to do if you’re offered a big job (& big money) even though it means working with people who don’t get you. 

Hence this project.

Real-life dilemmas. And us, craning over the wreckage to spot how we might avoid the same. Spotting that the question being asked is not the question that needs to be asked.  Seeing all the ways we’re socialized to believe that there is only so much power, capacity, or whatever to go around. Learning new ways of working. From scarcity to abundance. From competing to collaboration. From I to ours.

Better work is possible. Not just making work-life suck less. No — we want to do work that matters more. To be fully alive at work. Yet we don’t know-how. At least, not consistently. Not sufficiently. Not clearly.

But with fully alive @work, we map this new terrain, this process of not only imagining a better way but building that new way. Together.


About Your Columnist
Nilofer Merchant is known for her capacity to drive value creation. During her 25 years of operating experience, she’s helped ship nearly 100 products, netting over $18 billion in revenues. And her books add to that: The Power of Onlyness: How to Make a Dent In the World (Viking), The 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #Social Era (Harvard), and The New How: Creating Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy (O’Reilly).

Her ideas already shape our world; for example, “sitting is the smoking of our generation” has been quoted 400+ million times since she first wrote it down in preparation for her mainstage TEDtalk

Here, she draws on her construct of Onlyness™, that vast source of ideas largely underutilized at work. Simply by standing on that spot in the world, only one stands. Each of us has something of value to offer. Thinkers50 awarded Nilofer as their 2013 Future Thinker for this idea, saying she (and it) was “most likely to influence the future of management in both theory and practice.”  

And this last part — the practice part — is key.

We write not as “experts” but as fellow seekers. With this column, we don’t aim to have all the answers (as if there was such a thing), but to explore a topic. By forming better questions. And making sense of what could be. Again, not the sense. But, a sense. So that you can see things anew, maybe try new ways of relating to work, to put x into practice. 

Already, some have described this column as the “gold standard,” inspiring, and (even!) fervent. How it is doing for work what “Dear Sugar” did for life and love. (We blush.) 


Why Subscribe?
Why subscribe? Because you support this work.

To co-creating change.

  • Starting with changing the questions we ask. What did Einstein say? “We cannot solve old problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Well, these columns challenge convention and offer us new ways to conceive of our world. That’s not easy to do. Each column takes between 10-20 hours to think/research/write.

  • With compelling stories. Once we hear a story, its lesson becomes our own. Because we pay a professional editor, this column serves you and yours. By sharing it, you can have that much-needed conversation at work.

  • And immediately applicable “in practice” ideas.

  • Regular gatherings are hosted to learn together via exercises and discussion. But, more importantly, you meet a cohort of folks who want the same as you.

Subscribe & join in supporting this work.  


Now, we should address money directly. Subscribing without paying is fine with us. Not everyone is in a position to pay, even if it is just a measly $5 bucks a month. But, know this.
We want your support. We need your support. And, we’ve put the Gatherings behind the paywall because we want you to put your money where your mouth is. Literally.