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In the Industrial Age, we went to work, some of us produced widgets, others produced newspapers, and certainly there were many other occupations. This was mostly pre-2015ish.

Workers in the Industrial Age performed tasks. Ones that were very structured and often highly controlled. Do this task at this time. Whomever did it fastest, correctly as defined and cheapest got the job.

Even though, many in 2015 were claiming that we are in the Participation Age, we are still – at least partially in the Industrial Age. People go to work, look for work-life balance (as opposed to a life with different parts) and rush hour is a sign of the Industrial Age as well.

Now, some Industrial Age jobs will likely never go away, but a sign of an Industrial Age job is that it can be commodized. Whomever does it the fastest and cheapest wins. Once somebody invents a robot to do the tasks, the job is gone.

In the Participation Age, leaders lead and offer their knowledge. Their employees have specific knowledge, too. It’s more of a knowledge economy than an who-can-produce-this-widget-fastest age.

Participation Age leaders don’t care when employees go on a bike ride mid-day, because those Participation Age employees already got the day’s work done and will be back in a bit anyway. Industrial Age leaders care about time. Participation Age leaders care about outcomes, culture and overall experience.

Why is this mentioned on an authentic storytelling and content marketing blog? In the Industrial Age, we did marketing. You know where people shout stuff at you to buy things? Some of that still exists today as well. In the Participation Age, we all share our authentic stories and encourage each other to do so.

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