Monday, October 18, 2010

Enforced silence

Think about the balance of power in the modern economy: classical economics talks about 'control of the means of production,' referring to the ownership of Land, Labour and Capital. But in the modern 'knowledge economy' competitive edge comes about through deploying ideas better than others do.

Ideas can't be 'ring-fenced' in the same way as land, labour and capital can. So employers force restrictive job contracts that claim ownership of a knowledge worker's thoughts and ideas conceived during the term of the employee's contract.

My own experience is that this approach kills creativity; and, suddenly free from such a contract, the ideas start to flow again!