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Seth Godin on The Song of Significance and the Future of Work

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Seth Godin on The Song of Significance and the Future of Work

Beyond the To-Do List

Beyond the To-Do List,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The industrial model no longer works. Up next: A new Seth Godin approach based on the human touch.

Editorial Rating



  • Visionary
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


The industrial model revolutionized the world, but it’s out of touch with modern realities, and it fails individual workers and businesses. What will replace it? Bestselling author Seth Godin offers his vision of a more humane approach in his latest book, The Song of Significance: A New Manifesto for Teams. In conversation with Erik Fisher, host of the Beyond The To-Do List podcast, Godin explains that the industrial model stresses constant optimization of productivity, but that will have less value in the age of AI. Now, he says, the world of work should turn to a new model where work is meaningful and individuals grow by shaping their own unique contributions.


The industrial model that focuses on optimizing productivity does not work anymore.

The current way of working focuses on a constant race to improve productivity. It measures human output the way it measures what a machine in a factory can produce. 

Over the last century, this industrial model changed many aspects of people’s lives for the better. But it’s not the only approach to your work or your company that you can adopt. More and more people are becoming aware that this model doesn’t serve them well amid the pressures of contemporary business.

You can become irreplaceable by offering unique work that AI or abundant cheap labor cannot offer. 

Employees who adhere to the industrial model and focus on increasing their output will face competition from freelancers who do the same work, only cheaper and faster. Moreover, each person’s productivity has a limit, an area where AI will eventually beat humankind.

Under the song of significance model, you work your...

About the Podcast

Erik Fisher is a host of the Beyond The To-Do List podcast which focuses on productivity. Seth Godin is a business blogger and the author of numerous business books, including his newest, The Song of Significance: A New Manifesto for Teams, plus Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?; This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See; Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us; Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends into Customers; and more.

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