Our modern day working life is in a state of crisis. As the global economy continues to shift towards knowledge work, the days of standardized tasks are long gone, replaced by the mounting pressure to come up with endless ideas to stay ahead of the competition. Companies are facing immediate challenges in recruiting and retaining highly skilled creatives, an essential part of thriving in today’s hyper competitive business landscape. In addition to the pressure of being connected 24/7, employees are struggling to be to be both constantly creative and constantly productive to keep up with the never-ending demands of their jobs – and it’s not working.
The dilemma is this: Where employers once prioritized productivity as the ideal employee trait, they now expect their workforce to be endlessly creative and innovative as well. The scramble to keep up with the expectation of a never-ending stream of creative output has resulted in a culture that is obsessed with hustling. In the rush to boost performance, we have become over-worked, over-scheduled and overwhelmed. We come to work armed with to-do lists, life-hacks and inbox-zero mentalities. We are trained to respond at a moment’s notice, manage competing priorities and rapidly jump from task to task. We focus on attaining maximum efficiency while trying to generate creative solutions with the same rigor as completing our tasks. And when it doesn’t work as planned we force ourselves to push through, to work longer and harder to chase down the ideas that seem to elude us.
What can companies do to cope?
Backed with extensive research and case studies, Rahaf pushes past common solutions to these problems to tackle the deeper cultural questions. From the dark side of the American Dream to the idolization of entrepreneurship culture in the media, audiences will uncover the hidden forces influencing our beliefs about work and learn practical tips to making impactful and long lasting changes to their organizational culture and how to manage their own Hustle and Float.
Rahaf Harfoush is a Strategist, Digital Anthropologist, and Best-Selling Author who focuses on the intersections between emerging technology, innovation, and digital culture. She is the Executive Director of the Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture and teaches “Innovation & Emerging Business Models” at Sciences Politique’s Masters of Economics and Finance program in Paris. Her third book, entitled “Hustle & Float: Reclaim Your Creativity and Thrive in a World Obsessed with Work,” will be released in early 2019.
Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva where she helped identify disruptive-startups that were improving the state of the world. Rahaf is the co-author of “The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know your Customers” It was published in early 2014 and was listed on both the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists. It won a 2015 Gold Axiom Award for Best Business Technology Book. The Decoded Company explores how big data is providing an unprecedented opportunity for organizations to dramatically improve their decision making, increase their performance and, most importantly, intentionally create happy and vibrant work cultures. Her first book, “Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand,”chronicled her experiences as a member of Barack Obama’s digital media team during the 2008 Presidential elections and explored how social networking revolutionized political campaign strategy.
In 2017, Rahaf was named as one of the top future thinkers to shape the world by the Hay Literary Festival. She was also named a Young Global Changer by the G20 Global Think Tank Summit. Rahaf has also been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Shaper, and by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society as a Rising Talent for her thought leadership in the fields of digital culture and technology. In 2014, Rahaf was also named as a “Canadian Arab to Watch,” by the Canadian Arab Institute. She is a member of the German Marshall Network of Transatlantic Leaders.
Rahaf’s writing has been featured in Wired, The Globe and Mail, Fast Company, The Mark News, Techonomy and The Next Web and many more. She is a frequent commentator on France24 and the CBC. Rahaf has been speaking about New Media and Technology since 2006. In her spare time, Rahaf enjoys instagramming too many pictures of her dog Pixel, learning how to play the ukulele and working on her first novel.