Meaning at Work, new book by Nicholas Ind


I first met Nicholas Ind at a reputation conference in Oslo about four years ago. I had just started working on my book on authenticity after finishing a master thesis at Copenhagen Business School and he had already written a handful of successful books on branding. One of them called Living the Brand – an idea that I’ve been intrigued by. He was kind enough to encourage me further and and support the idea of writing an international version once the Danish book is out. That is yet to happen but I’ll start working on the new edition soon…

Nicholas is one of those rare people who not only has long experience from practice (like Icon Medialab) but also holds an MBA and recently did a PhD in philosophy. He captures both the everyday challenges and the managerial and philosophical level of branding, leadership and now – the meaning at work.


We spend much of our waking time working, but sadly, most people are disappointed with what they do. In “Meaning at Work” Nicholas Ind asks why we get bored and frustrated with our jobs and then suggests the attitudes and behaviour we should adopt to find fulfillment. I am especially pleased about the book as Nicholas has written a small passage about our work with the bus drivers in Copenhagen and how they find meaning at work:

“Nicolaj Stagis, CEO of a communications company in Denmark, describes a project to boost the self-esteem of bus drivers in Copenhagen. Rather than following the deliberate suppression of emotion described by Hochschild, in this instance bus drivers were encouraged as part of a programme to express their personality and to take responsibility for providing the service they thought fit for their customers. The result is a feeling of closeness – as one of the drivers commented: “When I spend a third of my life at work driving the bus, wouldn’t it be strange if I didn’t commit myself to the job?” (page 49).

The picture in the book shows bus driver Lars Lylloff who was very active in promoting the job and has since become a team manager in the bus industry.

The book can be ordered on publisher Cappelen Damm.