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 »

“people are for caring”

Christian Madsbjerg concludes in his book, Sensemaking: “What are people for? Algorithms can do many things, but they will never actually give a damn. People are for caring.” How can we understand the complexity of human networks, especially when they are massaged by algorithms that drive our social media? Empathy can put us in other… 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 »

filter failure is not acceptable

Fake news. PR hype. Content marketing. Advertorials. Click bait. Propaganda. Doublespeak. Newspeak. Yellow journalism. Shock jocks. Post-truth. Spam. Phishing. Digital information comes from all directions, and much of it from dubious sources or with the intent to misinform. Today, it is just too easy to create, replicate, and share digital information. As a result, we… 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 »

organizing for the network era

In my last post I noted that many organizations today are nothing more than attractive prisons. The current organizational tyranny was a response to a linear, print-based world. These organizations are artifacts of a time when information was scarce and hard to share, and when connections with others were difficult to make and required command… 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 »