All levels of complexity exist in our world but more and more of our work deals with real complex problems (in which the relationship between cause and effect can only be perceived in retrospect), whether they be social, technological, or economic. Complex environments and problems are best addressed when we organize as networks, work to continuously develop emergent practices; and cooperate to advance our aspirations.
There is no normal anymore. What we thought was normal is going away. It is really different this time.
“Technology is not only driving down the price to do things. It is driving down the cost of labor to the point where many people may simply never find a job that pays a living wage.” – A Man With A Ph.D.
Standardized and repeatable work is getting automated and outsourced. But there is an infinite amount of complex and creative work to be done. We are just not organized very well to do it. This is the huge challenge we face. Working smarter is not an incremental thing, it’s how we are going to transform society so that most of us can be productive AND earn a living. The JOB is not the answer. Freelancing is not a blanket solution. We need to get really creative about how we work, because work gives meaning, not just compensation. Social business may be part of the solution but the challenge is much bigger than that. Richard Florida alludes to it with the notion of a widespread creative class.
Do you want a complex problem? Figure out how we are going to keep producing stuff and still give people ways to buy that stuff. Think about what will happen if we don’t address this complex, wicked problem.