Books in Beta

the perpetual beta series

The changing nature of work, and our evolving perspectives on learning and knowledge are the core themes of the four volumes of the perpetual beta series. Work is changing as we transition into the network era. Creative work is beginning to dominate industrial work as we shift to a post- job economy. The major driver of this change is the automation of routine work, especially through software, but increasingly with robots. Valued work is in handling exceptions, dealing with complex problems, and doing customized tasks. Valued work in the network era is human. I wrote ‘seeking perpetual beta’ first, in order to create a coherent narrative of ten years of blogging. Subsequent volumes followed over the next two years.

Purchase all four perpetual beta volumes (PDF) (scroll down)

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The second volume, ‘finding perpetual beta’ built upon the themes explored in the first. It also collated my work on personal knowledge mastery, which I see as the keystone to an intelligent organization in the network era. This is a continuing exploration of how society, technology, work, and education are changing. It questions the status quo of organizational structures and hierarchies. Continuing to collaborate in hierarchies, with gatekeepers and other control mechanisms, will not transform us into a well-functioning networked society. In the network era, we need to learn how to work cooperatively to deal with the complex problems facing us that cannot be addressed through our existing tribal, institutional, and market structures.

The third volume, ‘adapting to perpetual beta‘, is focused on connected leadership and networked management. New forms of leadership are required as we build new organizational and educational models for a networked society. Leadership in networks is helping the network make better decisions, and this requires a focus on the best organizational design to meet the changing situations. Leadership in networks is exercised through reputation, not positional authority. Having influence in multiple networks, not just the organization, makes a leader even more effective. The ability to span networks becomes important as organizational lifespans decrease and worker mobility increases.

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The fourth volume, ‘working in perpetual beta‘ is intended to provide principles, frameworks, and models to start the task of creating work structures that respect and improve human talent. It is becoming obvious that many of our existing structures are inadequate to deal with the complexities of a digitally interconnected world. We need to design our workplace structures and systems so that open collaboration can help each and every worker make critical decisions. Today there are a growing number of prescriptive solutions pushed under the moniker of the future of work. Many of these are detailed recipes or based on some new technology that will supposedly save the day. As a student of history, I doubt these claims. People can never be more efficient than machines. All we can do is be more curious, more creative, and more empathetic.

These books distill the essence of over 2,850 posts on this site. Each e-book is provided as a DRM-free PDF suitable for tablet and desktop viewing or printing. Each volume is 55 to 75 pages.

The files will be emailed to the address provided within 12 hours (usually much quicker).

Purchase all four perpetual beta volumes (PDF) now for $(US)25




Reader Comments

“the best $25 you’ll ever spend on yourself”Susan Scrupski

“One of the best purchases you’ll do this year!”Luis Suarez

“masterful synthesis of 10 years of blogging about networks”Jon Husband

“Harold knows just how to harness the power of equal, open collaboration in the networked economy.”Ian Chew

I’ve just finished Part 1 of Finding Perpetual Beta. It’s so well-written – clear, easy to understand without any need for prior exposure to the topic, and simply compelling.”Michelle Ockers

Once again, I am flabbergasted by the intensity and the profoundness of Harold’s writing and thinking.” —François Lavallée

If you’re interested in organizational growth, knowledge management, technology and change management, I highly recommend that you obtain, read, mark up and share it.” — Ben Carmel

“Full of detail, research & new ideas.”Charles Jennings

Tables of Contents

Layout and design by Tantramar Interactive

seeking perpetual beta

1. THE NETWORK ERA
The Changing Nature of Work
Complication: The Industrial Disease
A Networked Market Knows More
Job is a Four-letter Word
Knowledge Artisans
Working Socially
Tapping the Creative Surplus

2. WORK IS LEARNING & LEARNING IS THE WORK
PKM and the Seek > Sense > Share Framework
PKM and Competitive Intelligence
PKM and Innovation
Managing Organizational Knowledge
Training and Complex Work
Narrating Our Work
Collaborate to Solve Complex Problems

3. LEADING & MANAGING IN NETWORKS
Network Thinking
The Connected Enterprise
The Knowledge Sharing Paradox
Managing Automation
Flip the Office
Connected Leadership

4. THE GLOBAL VILLAGE

finding perpetual beta

1. THE NETWORK ERA
The Work Shift
The Shrinking Middle Class
From Hierarchies to Networks
Human Networks
Networked Workplaces
Three Major Changes
Organizations and Learning
New Skills
New Work Tools
Beyond Hierarchies

2. PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE MASTERY
PKM Revisited
Seek > Sense > Share
Seek
Sense
Share
PKM Tips
Learning is the Work
PKM and the Future of Work

adapting to perpetual beta

1. THE INTELLIGENT ENTERPRISE
Perpetual Beta
Complexity
Democracy

2. LEADERSHIP IN THE NETWORK ERA
Sharing Power
Social Structures
Leadership by Example
Immersion

3. ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING
Hard Soft Skills
Managing Talent

4. NETWORKED MANAGEMENT
Implementing Networked Management
The Networked Workplace

working in perpetual beta

  1. Introduction
  2. Connected Curiosity
  3. Organizing Principles
  4. Self-governance
  5. Self-organization
  6. Mediated Expertise
  7. Hierarchies & Leadership
  8. Managing Knowledge
  9. The Network Learning Model
  10. The Triple Operating System
  11. End Note