WFD | A Lazy Future

| Writing Solidifies, Chat Dissolves | Microenterprises at Zappos | Treat Us Like Adults | Save The Future Of Work | Paul Valery |

Photo by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash

Beacon NY 2020–01–14 | I wrote CPO Skepticism Is High this morning, relating a lively interchange that took place on Twitter following a reference to a Kathryn Newbery story, Seven key HR trends for 2020, in the January 10 issue of my Work Futures Daily newsletter. The title says it all.


Also, I am migrating the deep content I developed over 2019 at the On The Horizon publication over to a section at Work Futures on Medium. You will be able to see all that material via the On The Horizon navigation element at the top of the main page, as well as a selection of the most popular stories in the From The Archives.

Guide to Internal Communication, the Basecamp Way | Basecamp has a great set of principles for internal communications, like these:

2 | Real-time sometimes, asynchronous most of the time.

3 | Internal communication based on long-form writing, rather than a verbal tradition of meetings, speaking, and chatting, leads to a welcomed reduction in meetings, video conferences, calls, or other real-time opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.

4 | Give meaningful discussions a meaningful amount of time to develop and unfold. Rushing to judgement, or demanding immediate responses, only serves to increase the odds of poor decision making.

5 | Meetings are the last resort, not the first option.

6 | Writing solidifies, chat dissolves. Substantial decisions start and end with an exchange of complete thoughts, not one-line-at-a-time jousts. If it’s important, critical, or fundamental, write it up, don’t chat it down.


Q&A With John Bunch: Holacracy Helps Zappos Swing From Job Ladder to Job Jungle Gym | Sounds like Zappos is adopting Haier-style microenterprise model (see Evolution of the Platform Organization: 3 Haier, Rendanheyi, and Zhang Ruimin’s Vision):

… we are working on internal market-based dynamics, which essentially means that each circle in the organization would be run like a micro-business. In this system, each micro-enterprise would be funded by the customers. These can be internal customers or external customers. Instead of a top-down funding model, we are shifting our funding as being derived from the customer of whatever work you do. In a traditional company, employees might not see the value that they are creating. This change is relevant to the employee’s personal value because employees won’t think of themselves as a cost to an organization. By creating these internal customers through these micro-business interactions, employees can really see the value that they add to the company.


Why we treat employees like adults | Manuel Küblböck has aa succinct run-down on the elements of what I call the fast-and-loose business.


5 Ways to Stop Corporations From Ruining the Future of Work | Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor, has created a manifesto for how we need to take back the future of work from corporations:

First, workers need a stronger voice, from the boardroom to the shop floor.

Second, if we want corporations to invest in innovation and their workers we need to reform Wall Street.

Third, we need to rebuild strong collaboration between government and business in researching and developing new technologies, so they work for the benefit of all.

Fourth, a more open and forward-looking industrial policy can help steer the nation’s economic growth toward combating our central challenges— climate change, poverty, our crumbling infrastructure, costly and inaccessible health care, lack of quality education.

Finally, we need to assure that our workers are protected from the downsides:That new information technologies along with their increasing potential for monitoring and surveilling workers don’t undermine worker autonomy, dignity, and privacy. That the use of algorithms to manage workers doesn’t give top management unwarranted power in the workplace. And that workplace technologies don’t make work more unpredictable for millions of workers.

Workers need a voice. Government needs a responsible role. We deserve a forward-looking and open industrial policy. And the rules of the game need to be fair. We should all be able to steer the direction of technological change and influence how new technologies affect our lives.

Quote of the Day

The future arrived but it’s lazy.

Paul Valéry