Posts Categorized: Work

the future of work is perpetual beta

Automation is a force that is continuously changing the nature of human work. First it replaced brute force with powerful machines, changing the nature of agriculture, mining, construction, and other fields of human activity. Then automated programs replaced simple work like withdrawing money from a bank account. Now automation is replacing complicated work, like coordinating… Read more »

adapting to life in perpetual beta

Twenty years ago I was finishing my Master’s thesis on learning in the information technology workplace. A significant part of my research relied on the work of Marshall McLuhan, especially his laws of media. My job at the time was the development of all training related to a fleet of helicopters employed in tactical aviation:… Read more »

hunters in the jungle

The challenge for workers in what is becoming a freelance & gig economy is to survive in the global jungle. Work is moving toward temporary, negotiated hierarchies. The challenge for the modern organization is to have a flexible enough structure to let people move in and out of the jungle. Workers can also find short-term… Read more »

future of work influencers

I don’t put much stock in lists and ‘best of …’ rankings as they rarely tell you the methodology behind the system. When Antonio Santo (@akwyz) shared a list of the top 50 influencers on ‘the future of work’, I asked about the methodology. Vishal Mishra (@vmishRRa), CEO of Right Relevance,  kindly obliged. “The Right… Read more »

more than mere digital transformation

Is the automation of what has traditionally been human work inevitable? I know what you’re thinking – there’s some things that robots can do well, but there’s a lot of things that they can’t, and it will be a long, long time before they can match or outperform humans in these tasks. Construction, food preparation,… Read more »

soft skills are permanent skills

Are soft skills the new hard skills? I asked this question six years ago. I would now suggest that hard skills are really temporary skills. They come and go according to the economy and the state of technology. Today, we need very few people who know how to shoe a horse. Soft skills are permanent… Read more »

attractive prisons

Today we hear a lot about models like holacracy and teal organizations that are focused on changing how we work together in organizations. Teal organization: A new kind of organization designed to enable “whole” individuals (not narrow professional selves) to self-organize and self-manage to achieve an organic organizational purpose (determined not through hierarchical planning but… Read more »

future hedging

“The future of work will be based on hacking uncertainty and hedging risks through post-blockchain smart contracts, learning and social capital. The main question is perhaps not what skills we should have in the future, but how we hedge the risks that are inbuilt in our world, our unique knowledge assets, the know-what, the know-who… Read more »

simplifying the complexity

Complex Problems I like complex problem-solving. Perhaps my most interesting project was when a client gave me a statement of work to ‘simplify the complexity’. I did not have a solution but felt that with my extended networked I would be able to solve their problem. I have explained this project in detail (video) and… Read more »

only humans need apply – review

In Only Humans Need Apply, the authors identify five ways that people can adapt to automation and intelligent machines. They call it ‘stepping’. I have added in parentheses the main attributes I think are needed for each option. Step-up: directing the machine-augmented world (creativity) Step-in: using machines to augment work (deep thinking) Step-aside: doing human… Read more »