A planned web
site/forum on issues affecting the workplace today.
The Dumb Steeple is a stone monument in the North
of England. It is unmarked and its origins are
unknown but it was used as a meeting point for
people concerned about the future of work. These
people were Luddites – skilled artisans, fearful
that technological innovation would destroy their
livelihoods. Mechanisation and new ways of working
did indeed create a watershed in the way people
lived and worked but not without hardship and
dissent, often seated in ignorance.
Today’s information technologies have created
the potential for a mixed marketplace featuring
new ways of working and a return for some to artisan-style
transactions between suppliers and customers.
Some of these developments, aided by the internet,
are forcing ever greater efficiencies among large
businesses struggling to sustain their models
of scaled-up employment which proved so successful
when factory-based industrialisation favoured
the concentration of production and wealth.
For the first time in its history, big business
is faced with accounting for its employment policies
in the same way that it has accounted for its
assets and expenditure. This is because employment
has become the biggest overhead in many companies.
Shareholders and owners need to know whether this
overhead is being managed sensibly. These forces
of change have implications for everyone.
Dumb Steeple will be designed
as both a resource and a forum for large companies
and independent employees attempting to understand
the changing relationship between work and business.
Its role will be that of a clearing house for
ideas to promote a greater understanding of the
way we live and work. The Dumb Steeple was a silent
witness at the flashpoint of the greatest social
revolution the world has known. It is vital as
a society that we make ourselves aware of today’s
changes so that technology can be viewed as transformational
rather than disruptive. Organisations interested
in sponsoring this site can reach me through my