MuseumsQuartier Vienna from my flickr photos.

We held our Vienna Linchpin Meetup at the MuseumsQuartier. The highlight was meeting a group of people who wanted to discuss Seth Godin’s ideas. On the way home I was amazed to note that three hours had passed, although the fact that they pretty much had to throw us out of the cafe should have been a hint.

We discussed a wide variety of subjects, listed below. We decided to meet again in September to continue our discussion with more people.

Can cleaning people be linchpins? We think that it’s possible to bring art to cleaning and cleaners can be an important connection between people working in an office. Our model is not the outsourced cleaning companies, but rather the cleaners who were really part of the organization, like the janitors in our elementary schools in the old days (Mike Mulligan of steam shovel fame). Maybe not forever, but being a linchpin cleaner (to pay the bills) while you are doing some other art at night.

How do you transfer Seth’s ideas to old businesses and institutions? An especially important question in cities like Vienna with long traditions.

Can you be a linchpin in a large business or do you need to work for yourself? Of course Seth discusses this, but it was on our minds. We felt that learning to get along in existing structures can provide you with the freedom to implement innovative ideas. But, it’s a balancing act.

We should always ask, “Where’s the fun?” at work. Work should be a playground where you can fail. Interestingly some organizations allow failure but sweep it under the carpet preferring to ignore it rather than learn from it.

What about colleagues to whom work is simply 8 hours plus a paycheck?

Finally, as a mixed German and English speaking group, we had a lot of fun translating and debating how to interpret Seth’s work (starting with “What does linchpin mean?”) in another language.