Inspired by Work

You know what it’s like to be inspired: shaken up in the best possible way, perhaps by a person, a cause, or even a movie, music, or spectacle that’s contagiously energizing to you: so spot-on that you’re charged up to do something new.

For a lucky few, work is not merely a job.

“Inspired work stands apart from normal life. In the first place it’s not about self-interest as normally understood. It’s not driven by a desire for money or grades or status. The inspired person is driven intrinsically by the work itself. The work takes hold of a person.”    —David Brooks, author of the 2015 best-selling book, The Road to Character, in a recent essay.

A new book called Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World investigates the special characteristics of inspiring people and advises how to be more like them.

One discovery: the ability to evaluate your own beliefs, even ones you’ve held onto forever. Game-changers can assess their own positions objectively; they love to do this. For them, productive self-evaluation is a routine exercise, but they don’t stop there. Great leaders act on the results of their self-evaluation. They update their beliefs, make adjustments, and even change course. And the best of these nimble thinkers can inspire the rest of us to go along with them. They are, in a word, inspiring.

A Change of Scenery and the Search for Inspiration

In January, GE announced a headquarters move, from suburban Connecticut to Boston’s innovation district. CEO Jeff Immelt explains the business opportunity:

“GE aspires to be the most competitive company in the world. Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations. Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research & development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world. We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city.”


Global architect Gensler has been selected to design the new urban corporate campus. Lead architect Doug Gensler says the $100 million project will deliver a “dynamic and creative ecosystem to launch a new generation of GE innovations and products to the world.” The client has requested environmental sustainability and integration into the Boston Innovation ecosystem. Interestingly, the new headquarters will solve for “employee inspiration and teaming.”

We’ll watch this workspace develop, before our very eyes, and with special attention to the “employee inspiration” criteria. What will that look like?

Change always brings about its own set of challenges, but it also positions you perfectly to be inspired—or re-inspired. We’re excited to welcome GE to our neighborhood, and we can’t wait to see what innovation and inspiration they contribute to our community.

What inspires you?

What about your work—and your work space—helps you stay engaged?