Free Agent Nation : How America's New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live
FREE AGENT NATION
The Organization Man is history. Taking his place is America's new economic icon: the "free agent"-the job-hopping, tech-savvy, fulfillment-seeking self-reliant, independent worker. Already 30 million strong, these new "dis-organization" men and women are transforming America in ways both profound and exhilarating.
In this landmark book, Daniel H. Pink offers the definitive account of this revolution in work. He shows who these free agents are-from the marketing consultant down the street to the home-based "mompreneur" to the footloose technology contractor-and why they've forged a new path. His entertaining and provocative account of the new frontier of work reveals how free agents are shaking up all of our institutions-from politics to education to the family.
Are you ready for...
- The Peter-Out Principle-Successor to the famous "Peter Principle," this new rule decrees that when the fun peters out, the talented walk out.
- Unschooling-Individual-centered learning like homeschooling and apprenticeships will threaten Ivy League colleges and end high school as we know it.
- Individual Public Offerings-The upper echelon of free agents will issue these new "IPO's," or stock--in themselves.
- E-tirement-When Americans reach age sixty-five, more will enter a new stage of life. Working as full-time, part-time, and anytime free agents, they'll be finding and executing work over the Internet.
- Just-in-time Politics-This political version of just-in-time manufacturing will challenge the present two-party system.
- The Feminine Century-Women are free agency's early adopters: Many analysts estimate that by the year 2005, half of all businesses will be run by women.
Hip and hopeful, meticulously researched and joyously iconoclastic, FREE AGENT NATION will change your thinking-and maybe even change your life.
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May 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Free Agent Nation by Daniel H. Pink
THE CRUX: In the second half of the twentieth century, the key to understanding America's social and economic life was the Organization Man. In the first half of the twenty-first century, the new emblematic figure is the free agent--the independent worker who operates on his or her own terms, untethered to a large organization, serving multiple clients and customers instead of a single boss. The rise of free agency shatters many ironclad premises about work, life, and business in America-- from how companies should operate, to how we structure our health care, retirement, and education systems, to which values guide our lives. To truly understand the new economy, you must first understand the free agent.
THE FACTOID: The largest private employer in the U.S. is not Detroit's General Motors or Ford, or even Seattle's Microsoft or Amazon.com, but Milwaukee's Manpower Inc., a temp agency.
THE QUOTE: "This book is about the free agent. If the term is vague, it is because I can think of no other way to describe the people I am talking about. They are free from the bonds of a large institution, and agents of their own futures. They are the new archetypes of work in America."
THE WORD:Tailorism. The free agent's approach to work; descendant of Taylorism, Frederick Winslow Taylor's One Best Way method of mass production. Under Tailorism, free agents fashion their work lives to suit their own needs and desires-- instead of accepting the uniform values, rules, and structure of a traditional job. Opposite of the One Size Fits All ethic of the Organization Man era. (Synonym: My Size Fits Me).
Copyright (c) 2001 by Daniel H. Pink