An update on jobs

Nesta, a UK-based innovation charity, recently looked at jobs and automation, in the article, Creativity versus Robots. I have summarized some of their findings, and added my own perspective, with an image showing how standardized work is decreasing while creative work is increasing in the job market. Overall, we are seeing an increasing percentage of creative jobs in the workforce. But this is not a zero-sum game, as many jobs are getting automated and disappearing. If nothing is done, there will be severe societal repercussions. (more…)

What are you doing with your 70%?

The 70:20:10 (Experience, Exposure, Education) Framework is focused on learning at work, not in a classroom, and not in a lab. Charles Jennings has described workplace learning as based on four key activities:

  1. Exposure to new and rich experiences.
  2. The opportunity to practice.
  3. Engaging in conversation and exchanges with each other.
  4. Making time to reflect on new observations, information, experiences, etc.

Studies show that informal learning accounts for between 70 and 95% of workplace learning  [USBLS: 70%; Raybould: 95%; EDC: 70%; CapitalWorks: 75%; OISE: 70%; eLG: 70%; Allen Tough: 80%]. Gary Wise extrapolated Josh Bersin’s data from 2009 and found that as much as 95% of workplace learning is informal. Offering only sanctioned courses as professional development is completely inadequate in a complex work environment. It is arrogant to think that we can know in advance what people need to learn on the job today. Everyone needs to experiment, learn from experience, and share with colleagues,  as part of their work. (more…)

Creating the AAA Organization

For an organization to be agile and adaptive, the people in it need to be aware of what is happening around them, have alternative pathways to gather information and knowledge, and must be allowed to act to meet/solve both local and global goals/problems.  They need to both work in their hierarchy and in a self-organizing network simultaneously! – Valdis Krebs, Orgnet

How can an organization build awareness, investigate alternatives, and act on complex problems? The organization needs to connect the outside with the inside. This is not a technology challenge but rather a structural one. Organizations need to help knowledge flow and this only happens when people are connected. Technology is a facilitator, but people are the key. This is too often overlooked, as in most enterprise social network implementations, where mere training is bolted on at the end of the technology build. Awareness, alternatives, and action can each be supported within a unified organizational framework. (more…)

Friday’s Finds 230

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@morgenpaul“Psst … Your people are not your greatest asset; they’re not yours and they’re not assets. Let’s treat them like people.”

Will robots make our lives better or worse? – via @gideonro

So the question is not whether robots and computers will make human labour in the goods, high-tech services, and information-producing sectors infinitely more productive. They will. What really matters is whether the jobs outside of the robot-computer economy – jobs involving people’s mouths, smiles, and minds – remain valuable and in high demand.


Autonomous learners

When was the last course you took? How about e-learning? When was it designed? Was it current? Did it reflect your current reality? Was it useful?

One of the limitations of instructional design is the assumption that a program can be designed and built based on the initial  specifications. Assuming you know everything at the start of a complex development project is rather arrogant. Arrogance is believing that the perfect system can be engineered on the first try. (more…)

Visualization for Understanding

When NASA released the photograph of the earth as seen from space, known as the blue marble, it gave new impetus to the environmental movement, showing our planet as a small dot in a black void. Seeing is believing. Visualization can be a very powerful tool in sharing complex knowledge. The visualization of social network analysis (SNA) can give us significant new perspectives, not available from looking at a series of data points. For instance, Valdis Krebs examined data on the trust levels of various news sources around the world and how these were perceived by ideological groups. The data table originally provided by PEW Research Center tell part of the story, but the SNA conducted by Valdis clearly shows how conservative media are completely separate from all other media. A similar study of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian news outlets showed that only one was trusted by both sides, but is getting squeezed by taking a moderate position. Seeing this polarization may help to understand it. (more…)

The post-hierarchical organization

The way we manage our organizations is largely ineffective for the complex challenges we face, whether driven by the environment, demographics, economics, or politics.

Hierarchies assume that management knows best and that the higher up the hierarchy, the more competent and knowledgeable that person is. But hierarchies are merely centralized networks. They work well when information flows mostly in one direction: down. Hierarchies are good for command and control. They are handy to get things done in small groups. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change. Hierarchies are ineffective when things get complex. (more…)

Why mastering personal knowledge is critical to success

This is the synopsis of a webinar for TP3 Australia I presented last evening (my time).

Three major external forces and trends are influencing the future of work:

  1. Technology is changing Expectations … of what is possible
  2. Globalization is changing Value Creation … from tangible to intangible, as culture gets digitized
  3. Social Media are changing Relationships … to a ubiquitously connected and pervasively proximate world

Automation is ending the industrial era. Examples include lawyers replaced by software, bank staff replaced by websites, travel agents replaced by apps, and soon drivers will be replaced by robots. Workplaces are finding themselves at a break-point between the industrial era and the network era, with industrial era systems and structures unable to adapt to a world of mostly non-standardized, non-repeatable work processes. (more…)

Ideas, Experts and Data

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

We don’t see something until we have the right metaphor to let us perceive it.” – Thomas Kuhn – via @tobiasmeyer

Humans require the difficult and messy social routing protocol of trust.” – Valdis Krebs @orgnet – via @voinonen

What if sucessful projects having a plan is just survivior bias?” – @drunkcod (more…)

Building the network era organization

Part of the shift that organizations will have to make in the network era will be not only to add new dimensions, but to retrieve some old ones. Institutional life often required us to leave our family concerns at the door, and focus on the work to be done. In the military this could be for decades and in the church for life. Later we had to stay sharply focused on the hyper-competition of the market era. There was a battle to be done, and most marketing speak is still littered with military terms, taken from one of the largest institutions we ever created.

But we have shifted from a world dominated by Tribes, to one of Institutions, and currently a society of Markets. The next shift is to a world of Networks, as succinctly described in David Ronfeldt’s TIMN theory. According to TIMN, each new form has built upon and changed the previous mode. We are currently a predominantly triform society (T+I+M). What happens as we become a quadriform society (T+I+M+N) and what aspects of the other three will be helpful to provide balance? (more…)