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The Michelangelo Project


Loved it! 😍

The pursuit of happiness for white-collar workers in a digital age. Splendid.

The Michelangelo Project is that magical social behavior that manifests as a personal renaissance. It goes against a system that contrives personal fulfilment and professional inspiration. And Isabel Wu has observed why independent workers opt out of traditional jobs and dislike being boxed by societal norms. Just as Michelangelo did.

Jobs still are designed for the enrichment of the establishment, but the book has ample pointers for start-ups to get on with the times and bring about digital transformation. 

What is specifically at stake in an increasingly complex digital age is the future of work. Working the proverbial nine to five may no longer be a condition of living, but an inconvenience one can avoid.

The author examines how ‘digital disruption’ opens up labyrinthine ways for hyper-individualism just as she does the cracks in  employment formats and dead-end jobs. You’ll discover why you should keep up with a data-driven world, and how to carve out a career identity without getting absorbed in a system that is rigged against its workers.

Supple case studies detail the pages of this book. But Wu outdoes herself when she points out that human work-life needs more than just economic points of view. It needs historians who study patterns and anomalies. It needs more than fragmented case-studies, it needs perspective.

She analyses trends, the logic of the market, cognitive theories, cultural biases, legal rights, and historical sanctions that are complicit in creating this ‘cow sociology’ where ‘human relations’ today, is a euphemism for behavior modification that pretends to be pro-workers. Exploring the evolution of the job, Wu diagnoses how large masses have been factored in the game of production to become casualties for uppers who control the big profits. 

The narrative technique is bold, analytical, and transformative. Michelangelo may perhaps be an idealistic comparison, considering that not too many of us know how to bring about this change and that mainstream education and norms teach one how to please the employer than pursue personal happiness.

At the same time, Wu’s strategies are simple and unassuming. She maps out a career wheel in a reality-based fictitious story and draws tools that could help navigate the long-term, cruise the short-term, and measure deliverables clinically. The Michelangelo Project doesn’t claim to short-circuit personal or professional change. The reader stands to gain from its rich perspective, articulate reasoning, and strong certainty in a volatile era. A brilliant read that launches in grave times. 

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A big picture thinker, who's equally in the details.

What is Work?

About the author

Isabel Wu has spent the last three decades helping clients to perform through the capabilities of people working to their best. Now focused on the future of work, Isabel coaches and consults on the skills needed to realise the opportunities presented by advanced digital technology. view profile

Published on December 17, 2019

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80000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Business & Management

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