Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“The nature of work is changing. People’s relationship with work is changing. The changes to society will be vast.” – @gapingvoid
The research is clear that technological progress has greatly benefitted people in the developing world so far. I wonder, though, if automation and deindustrialization might be creating a ‘silicon ceiling’ on growth — a situation in which even low wages are no longer an attractive alternative to technology. If so, the global shift away from labor and toward capital will only accelerate.
Adam Bryant: A few devil’s advocate questions. What about measuring people’s performance?
Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse: We just don’t. The reason is that when you don’t have a manager to hide behind, your work is truly exposed. We’ve fired people, and the reason is that there’s nowhere to hide, because everything’s public and it’s very clear whether you’re working and doing good stuff. We also find that if people like what they’re doing, then they do an awesome job at it and they don’t require traditional performance measurements.
To say that Thomas Edison invented electricity or that Albert Einstein discovered relativity is a popular, but misleading simplification. These breakthroughs would have been inconceivable without (1) the social and intellectual network that stimulated and advanced their thinking and (2) the people who recognized the value of their contributions and spread them further. A good, new idea is not automatically passed on. From this standpoint a lighted match does not cause a fire. Rather the fire took place because of a particular combination of elements of which the lighted match was one. One cannot be creative alone. These qualities are co-created in an active process of mutual recognition.
Once upon a time Dave Ulrich presented an HR model to the world. This model was embraced by the HR world. Ulrich argued that for good HR all four roles are needed: administrative experts, employee champions, change agents and strategic partners. The HR chiefs of the world got part of the message: HR needs to be a strategic partner. The other necessary roles were often neglected and in many organisations the result is messy: non of the roles Ulrich described is executed at a world-class level.