“Youâ€™ve seen the headlines by now: The robots are coming, and theyâ€™re going to take our jobs. The future really doesnâ€™t look so great for the average, human working stiff, since 47 percent of the worldâ€™s jobs are set to be automated in the next two decades, according to a recent and much-publicised University of Oxford study.”
According to Marx, automation that displaces workers in favour of machines that can produce more goods in less time is part and parcel of how capitalism operates. By developing fixed capital (machines), bosses can do away with much of the variable capital (workers) that saps their bottom line with pesky things like wages and short work days.
Once robots take over societyâ€™s productive forces, people will have more free time than ever before, which will â€œredound to the benefit of emancipated labour, and is the condition of its emancipation,â€
In short, Marx claimed that automation would bring about the end of capitalism.
In the automated world, precarious labour reigns. Jobs that offer no stability, no satisfaction, no acceptable standard of living, and seem to take up all of our time by occupying so many scattered parcels of it are the norm
A radically different form of work is that of providing personal data for profit
In my opinion, being anti-robot or anti-technology is not a very helpful position to take. Thereâ€™s no inherent reason that automation could not be harnessed to provide more social good than harm. No, a technologically-motivated movement is not whatâ€™s needed. Instead, a political one that aims to divest technological advancement from the motives of capitalism is in order.
The basic income movement, which calls for a minimum salary to be paid out to every living human regardless of employment status, is a good start, because it implies a significant departure from the purely economic language of austerity in political thought and argues for a basic income for the salient reason that weâ€™re human and we deserve to live
Work without capitalism, free time without capitalism, and, yes, even robots without capitalism. Perhaps only then could we build the foundations of a future world where technology works for all of us, and not just the privileged few.
“Limiting workplace email seems radical, but itâ€™s a trend in Germany, where Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom have adopted policies that limit work-related email to some employees on evenings and weekends. If this can happen in precision-mad, high-productivity Germany, could it happen in the United States? Absolutely. It not only could, but it should.”
They spend 28 percent of their workweek slogging through the stuff, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. They check their messages 74 times a day, on average, according to Gloria Mark, an authority on workplace behavior and a professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Workers donâ€™t even take a break during dinner â€” where, other research shows, fully 38 percent check work email â€œroutinely,â€ peeking at the phone under the table. Half check it in bed in the morning.
The few North American firms that have emulated Daimler all say it is surprisingly manageable.
Itâ€™s an acknowledgment that the only way to really reduce email is to persuade colleagues not to reflexively write every time they have the tiniest question.
Why would less email mean better productivity? Because, as Ms. Deal found in her research, endless email is an enabler. It often masks terrible management practices.
In contrast, when employees are actually empowered, they make more judgment calls on their own. They also start using phone calls and face-to-face chats to resolve issues quickly, so they donâ€™t metastasize into email threads the length of â€œWar and Peace.
employees donâ€™t like being forced to reply at 1 a.m., but they appreciate the flexibility of being able to shift some work to the evening if they choose.
The policy needs to come from the top. (If your boss regularly emails you a high-priority question at 11 p.m., the real message is, â€œAt our company, we do email at midnight.â€)
â€œEight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.â€ Itâ€™s a heritage that, this Labor Day, we need to restore.
“I would like to take the next few minutes of your attention (about 15-20 if you believe Wikipedia) to help you understand where we are, where we are going, and whatâ€™s going on right now in the world of Organizations in regards to Digital Transformation.”
The reality is that without those early adopters jumping in ahead of everyone else and â€œtesting the watersâ€ we wouldnâ€™t be able to move to mainstream adoption (around 30% of the overall market adoption). There are about 5% of organizations that fit into the early adopter category â€“ and not all topics and tools apply to all of them: thus, when I say â€œearly adopterâ€™s timeâ€ I mean a handful of organizations around the world actively doing digital transformation.
Which means, there are more people talking than doing this â€“
There is no single purchaser of â€œdigital transformationâ€ projects â€“ nor should it ever be (and I did mentioned this in my previous post also). This is not a software purchase â€“ this is about transforming your business (and that is led by executives if it is to be successful).
CMOs had a hard time proving the use of the â€œexpandedâ€ budgets in social as they allocated the money in the past few years. Letâ€™s face it, Social was not what was supposed to be.
The new dynamic duo of the CEO and COO work in tandem, with the Executive handling the vision and strategy and the Operations chief handling tactical and implementation. The rest of the C-level peeps end up reporting to one or the other â€“ as need be.
There are many others that have been talking about it â€“ but in my interactions with executives in all countries and of all sizes I have not heard many compliments â€“ nor have I seen a change in their organizations to support their thought leadership.
“Ninety percent of all jobs in the next year will require information and communication technology skills, according to research by Capgemini. Yet more than half the companies polled lacked social media skills. Thatâ€™s despite a McKinsey report that projects social media adding up to $1.3 trillion to our economy. No wonder the gap is poised to create a war for talent that quietly rivals the battle playing out amid the startups of Silicon Valley.”
In fact, one in ten young people are rejected from a job because of their social presence on the web. â€œThey are missing the bigger picture on how to use social media to help businesses meet their goals,â€
After graduating, Ward says, they often land in a job that provides no training and no one telling them how to meet professional objectives, despite the potential motherlode of research and analytics that social media provides. â€œItâ€™s a really different skill set,â€ he says.
â€œMillennials need help because they donâ€™t have the professional skill set, but older people donâ€™t have the social skills to apply business knowledge
â€œOur employees are our primary brand champions and the individuals that are directly interfacing with patients, so who better than to represent us online?â€
â€œPeople who truly understand social media realize that the sole purpose is not just for sharing content, it’s about expanding networks by connecting and interacting with people,â€
“In a sense, mobile first and mobile only are at odds with each other. If you go mobile only why do you need to go mobile first, you are only catering to mobile devices, so who cares. Yet businesses donâ€™t really understand the terms and end up in trouble anyway.”
The first rule of mobile first is that it doesnâ€™t mean mobile only. Mobile first is, instead, a strategy that requires focusing on the users and what they are trying to do.
It becomes very obvious, that when people are using their phone, they can only focus on the task at hand. Therefore, itâ€™s not just focusing on their needs but breaking their needs up into bite-sized chunks.
This doesnâ€™t make either approach wrong, but the desktop application wonâ€™t work well on the mobile device. Interestingly enough, the mobile app will work just fine on the desktop.
If you start with focusing on the usersâ€™ needs, as you move from a phone to a tablet, the person may actually use them differently
Think of it this way, most people just want a word processor when they use Microsoft Word. They barely use 20% of the available features if theyâ€™re lucky. On the smartphone, they just want to get the text entered and be able to start new paragraphs. When they move to the tablet they may start to format the text a little and be a little fancier. When they go to the desktop, they may change it into a newsletter, a web page or something else. The focus should always be on getting the words done, you just have more options as you move to different devices.
This is why responsive design doesnâ€™t work in this analogy. Itâ€™s not just showing a different size screen as you move between devices; itâ€™s also taking into account what the devices are capable of, being used for
mobile first is the strategy for helping the user do what they need when they need it. Itâ€™s what allows people to be more agile and flexible, on any device, be it, smartphone or desktop
“Short of having every leader emerge as the Chief Digital Officer, the new war for talent will focus on attracting, developing, and retaining digital artisans. Concurrently, a market will develop for those who can spread the digital business gospel and infuse digital artistry into organizations. While there are many attributes a digital business should embody, seven building blocks behind digital ARTISANS embody the digital DNA required for success:”
“Ok, so I may have said that many of todayâ€™s proclaimed social businesses, arenâ€™t social and I stand by that assertion 100%. Having said that, the quest for social business isnâ€™t unattainable, but it does take work to achieve.”
Connectedness: in a world where we are plugged in around the clock, people and brands (comprised of people) have a desire to be more consistently connected.
Collaborative: Beyond just the connection, how do brands and their stakeholders communicate in ways that drive more productivity and greater levels of customer satisfaction?
Measurable: In a data driven world, almost anything can be measured. Social businesses are measuring their activities with the goal of being able to most efficiently put their resources to use.
Customer Centric: A pillar of any great business, social businesses leverage the channel to drive great customer experience. This is created by vehemently striving for numbers 1-3.
Cultural Transformation: First and foremost, companies that are serious about becoming social businesses have a top down, bottom up cultural shift taking place.
Increased Accountability and Empowerment
Brand Advocates: Employees within social businesses recognize that they are key stakeholders in supporting and keeping customers happy
Increased Matrices: While all organizational hierarchies vary, social businesses have strong dotted line cultures that encourage more interaction between employees, departments and the different ranks within an organization
The business world is obsessed with collaboration. You can see it everywhere, from career websites touting a “collaborative culture,” to the open office floor plans preferred by about 70 percent of all offices.
Both corporate messaging and physical spaces are meant to spur teamwork and inspire collaboration. But is collaboration actually helping, or is it doing more harm than good?”
I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.
When your best people reach a decision as a group, they can easily become overconfident with the results based entirely on the approbation of the group
Everyone attending thinks, “I don’t have to prepare, someone else will pick up the slack.” This phenomenon is called “social loafing,” and it occurs when group members hope to skate by without much effort when put in a group.
1. Switch roles
It’s easy to become complacent when workers always take on the same role on every team and in every brainstorming session.
2. Play devil’s advocate
Is the brilliant idea your team came up with actually brilliant? Elect one person on the team to play devil’s advocate and question the decisions of the team
3. Put together a balanced team
Don’t fill a team with employees who all perform the same role. These workers are likely to think in a similar fashion, reducing the odds of coming up with truly creative solutions to problems
4. Allow for alone time
Alone time in necessary for creativity. This is why many classrooms are adopting a flipped classroom model, where students come into the classroom having already familiarized themselves with the material.
However, the same notion is not helpful when thinking of the tools used by individuals and organisations at work. The way in which employees interact is not like epidemics. On a daily basis they think more instrumentally: I am connected with you right now for some reasons, and then I will go to interact with three and four other colleagues about another project.
The idea of an unbounded social network where everyone is potentially communicating with everyone else is not helpful.
Employees are more willing to adopt different applications that help them organise that sense of scale. These tools are generally very context-bounded. Rather than interacting about everything going on within the business, people talk about the specific topic they are working on.
We are in a period of transition. Traditional collaboration tools are being slowly displaced – in some sectors, relatively quickly. Itâ€™s time for a whole new generation of contextual tools, where things are discussed and worked on in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.
I think they will give up at some point. Companies are trying to use ESNs to encourage their people to have a voice. But, it doesnâ€™t need to be on one social network.
It is neither about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) nor Bring Your Own App (BYOA). Itâ€™s about BYOM (Bring Your Own Mind).
Leanership is about a different approach to management, one that relies on self-organized networks. Leadership becomes emergent, as individuals take on responsibility to lead a project, an activity, a task, whatever, as needed. In this new way of work, leadership is no longer a full-time jobs, but something that everyone does to a varying degree.
There will be more demand for self-management. Employees are interested in autonomy and in managing their own work. After all, they have been hired for their abilities to invent their job. If they need to ask you for permission every time, then it will be very frustrating for them, and inefficient for the organisation.
there is still a role for leaders. They will set the cultural norms, pull â€˜obstructionsâ€™ out of the way, and help people with their future so they can have a lasting career within the business.
HR is in desperate need of a new business model. The combination of boomers retiring, Millennials expanding their presence in the workplace, intense competition for top talent, confusing and changing regulations, and new technology make HR ripe for change.
Partners: HR canâ€™t do its job alone and needs partnerships for talent acquisition and non-traditional learning opportunities.
Key Activities: Fundamentally, HR must attract and retain Millennial talent. HR activities related to these two core goals include branding, social media, recruiting, and professional development
Key Resources: Benefits packages are a given. However, professional development is also paramount to Millennials.
Channels & Customer Relationships: Modern technology is necessary to attract and retain Millennial talent.
Cost Structure & Revenue Streams: To understand costs, consider HR â€œrevenueâ€ as impact on the corporation. Although impact is not easy to quantify, it is HRâ€™s key to sustaining the business.
Value Propositions: At a high level, a successful HR team provides effective, efficient, and individualized professional development that meets constituentsâ€™ needs.
Millennialsâ€™ desire for continued learning and growth means that HR must provide a comprehensive program of individualized professional development (IPD). To develop this value proposition, consider the â€œjobsâ€ that Millennials want to have done in an IPD.
Millennials want a diverse set of work experiences to grasp the bigger picture, and understand the implications while also learning about the work of others in the organization.
This is a problem in many companies, which only train employees on issues narrowly related to their business or industry. More enlightened organizations recognize the value in helping employees gain a broader perspective that can benefit the company with new knowledge and points of view
What can HR do? Empower cross-functional teams and experiences, identify specific areas of interest for Millennials to explore, help them acquire diverse skills and knowledge, and offer incentives that encourage managers to provide time and funds for training and development.
“O century in recorded history has experienced so many social transformations and such radical ones as the twentieth century. They, I submit, may turn out to be the most significant events of this, our century, and its lasting legacy. In the developed free-market countries–which contain less than a fifth of the earth’s population but are a model for the rest–work and work force, society and polity, are all, in the last decade of this century, qualitatively and quantitatively different not only from what they were in the first years of this century but also from what has existed at any other time in history: in their configurations, in their processes, in their problems, and in their structures. “
If the twentieth century was one of social transformations, the twenty- first century needs to be one of social and political innovations, whose nature cannot be so clear to us now as their necessity.
NO class in history has ever risen faster than the blue-collar worker. And no class in history has ever fallen faster.
This is far more than a social change. It is a change in the human condition. What it means–what are the values, the commitments, the problems, of the new society–we do not know. But we do know that much will be different.
There is thus in the society of organizations no one integrating force that pulls individual organizations in society and community into coalition. The traditional parties–perhaps the most successful political creations of the nineteenth century–can no longer integrate divergent groups and divergent points of view into a common pursuit of power. Rather, they have become battlefields between groups, each of them fighting for absolute victory and not content with anything but total surrender of the enemy.
We will have to think through education–its purpose, its values, its content. We will have to learn to define the quality of education and the productivity of education, to measure both and to manage both.
ONE reason why the transformations caused so little stir (indeed, the main reason) was that by 1900 a new class, the blue-collar worker in manufacturing industry–Marx’s “proletarian”–had become socially dominant. Farmers were loudly adjured to “raise less corn and more hell,” but they paid little attention.
THE rise of the class succeeding industrial workers is not an opportunity for industrial workers. It is a challenge. The newly emerging dominant group is “knowledge workers.” The very term was unknown forty years ago. (I coined it in a 1959 book, Landmarks of Tomorrow.) By the end of this century knowledge workers will make up a third or more of the work force in the United States–as large a proportion as manufacturing workers ever made up, except in wartime. The majority of them will be paid at least as well as, or better than, manufacturing workers ever were. And the new jobs offer much greater opportunities.
But for the developed countries, too, the shift to knowledge-based work poses enormous social challenges. Despite the factory, industrial society was still essentially a traditional society in its basic social relationships of production. But the emerging society, the one based on knowledge and knowledge workers, is not. It is the first society in which ordinary people–and that means most people–do not earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow. It is the first society in which “honest work” does not mean a callused hand. It is also the first society in which not everybody does the same work, as was the case when the huge majority were farmers or, as seemed likely only forty or thirty years ago, were going to be machine operators.
KNOWLEDGE workers will not be the majority in the knowledge society, but in many if not most developed societies they will be the largest single population and work-force group.
In the knowledge society, clearly, more and more knowledge, and especially advanced knowledge, will be acquired well past the age of formal schooling and increasingly, perhaps, through educational processes that do not center on the traditional school. But at the same time, the performance of the schools and the basic values of the schools will be of increasing concern to society as a whole, rather than being considered professional matters that can safely be left to “educators.”
A society in which knowledge workers dominate is under threat from a new class conflict: between the large minority of knowledge workers and the majority of people, who will make their living traditionally, either by manual work, whether skilled or unskilled, or by work in services, whether skilled or unskilled. The productivity of knowledge work–still abysmally low–will become the economic challenge of the knowledge society. On it will depend the competitive position of every single country, every single industry, every single institution within society. The productivity of the nonknowledge, services worker will become the social challenge of the knowledge society. On it will depend the ability of the knowledge society to give decent incomes, and with them dignity and status, to non-knowledge workers.
Learning will become the tool of the individual–available to him or her at any age–if only because so much skill and knowledge can be acquired by means of the new learning technologies.
But until now the emphasis has been on the individual worker and not on the team. With knowledge work growing increasingly effective as it is increasingly specialized, teams become the work unit rather than the individual himself.
We will have to learn to understand teams–and this is something to which, so far, very little attention has been paid. The understanding of teams, the performance capacities of different kinds of teams, their strengths and limitations, and the trade-offs between various kinds of teams will thus become central concerns in the management of people.
In the knowledge society it is not the individual who performs. The individual is a cost center rather than a performance center. It is the organization that performs.
The industrial worker needed the capitalist infinitely more than the capitalist needed the industrial worker–the basis for Marx’s assertion that there would always be a surplus of industrial workers, an “industrial reserve army,” that would make sure that wages could not possibly rise above the subsistence level (probably Marx’s most egregious error). In the knowledge society the most probable assumption for organizations–and certainly the assumption on which they have to conduct their affairs–is that they need knowledge workers far more than knowledge workers need them.
Management is still taught in most business schools as a bundle of techniques, such as budgeting and personnel relations. To be sure, management, like any other work, has its own tools and its own techniques. But just as the essence of medicine is not urinalysis (important though that is), the essence of management is not techniques and procedures. The essence of management is to make knowledges productive. Management, in other words, is a social function. And in its practice management is truly a liberal art.
But one thing is already clear. The knowledge society has to be a society of three sectors: a public sector of government, a private sector of business, and a social sector. And I submit that it is becoming increasingly clear that through the social sector a modern developed society can again create responsible and achieving citizenship, and can again give individuals–especially knowledge workers–a sphere in which they can make a difference in society and re-create community.
Knowledge knows no boundaries. There is no domestic knowledge and no international knowledge. There is only knowledge. And with knowledge becoming the key resource, there is only a world economy, even though the individual organization in its daily activities operates within a national, regional, or even local setting.
We need systematic work on the quality of knowledge and the productivity of knowledge–neither even defined so far. The performance capacity, if not the survival, of any organization in the knowledge society will come increasingly to depend on those two factors. But so will the performance capacity, if not the survival, of any individual in the knowledge society. And what responsibility does knowledge have? What are the responsibilities of the knowledge worker, and especially of a person with highly specialized knowledge?
But then we also need to develop an economic theory appropriate to a world economy in which knowledge has become the key economic resource and the dominant, if not the only, source of comparative advantage.
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