“Something like 80% of the US stock market capitalisation is driven by intellectual property, patents, software - things that are made by people,” says Bersin. “It's not driven by oil that is pumped out of the ground or inventory or physical assets, which means that almost every company is in the people business.”
“And because people have a need to regenerate, if you run people like machines, and you try to minimise their expense, then you don't get the right output.”
Why are you bored?
It seems boredom is nothing to be fearful of, but we should perhaps also be aware that not all boredom can be useful. While being under stimulated can lead us to greater creativity and productivity, chronic boredom is also found to have insidious effects that can slash years off your lifespan. Mann has shown that boredom can lead people to crave fatty and sugary foods because they are seeking stimulation.
“Being bored or not having enough stimulation is one thing,” says Mann. Feeling that things in your life are pointless is something more precarious, she adds. “You could have plenty to do, but it lacks meaning and purpose: you might be suffering from chronic boredom.”
It’s that listless feeling that can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
In the past, only the very rich could enjoy the luxury of boredom and idleness was even considered a symbol of wealth and success. The modern world of business tries to convince us that the opposite should be true – our schedules must be packed to get the most out of our days. But it also comes at a time when the digital economy is crying out for creative, out-of-the-box thinkers.
So perhaps it is time to embrace boredom – and rather than dreading Victor Hugo’s hell, remember it could be simply a lightbulb moment waiting to happen.
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