I’ve been invited to a Substack program called Substack Grow, which is — unsurprisingly — about how to accelerate the growth of Substack communities, and as a byproduct, revenue.
One of the exercises involves plotting the story of your newsletter using Substack’s stats feature. The key includes a description of some of the milestones along the way. The current generation of Work Futures starts at point 4, when I defected from Medium and returned to Substack after over a year away.
I’ll be sharing a bunch of information, questions, and insights over the next 5 weeks, as the Substack Grown program goes forward. I am already — after just one session — planning some systemic changes.
How does this sound as a characterization of Work Futures Readers? Does this sound like you?
Work Futures readers are researchers, practitioners, and activists in business, academia, and media whose roles focus on the future of work. They are curious, driven, and hyper-engaged with the myriad themes and threads in the field. Curious and looking for new insights to both well-documented and newly emerging themes in the space. Likely are influential in their organizations in setting directions for devising new ways of work. Often are themselves writing on the future of work.
Yes, I see my self in there, along with some aspirations :-)
Hello Stowe. Here are two quick thoughts relative to your characterization of Work Futures readers.
1. Using the lens of "Future of Work" may be too limiting. While work is a critical component of life for most of us it is not the most important component. Our personal lives and the relationships we have with significant others, children and grandchildren rank as the most important to most of us. The two themes are interdependent, interoperable and at their intersection extremely complex. I believe by expanding your characterization you will broaden the range of issues and deepen the conversation.
2. The term Future of Work (FOW) is a tired phrase. With the emergence of new tools for collaboration, distance based learning and platforms as a service, FOW caused a frenzy with enthusiasts (mostly consultants, pundits and corporate workers) at conferences over the last 10-15 years. But it has had little real uptake with C Teams in the corporate world. It took the Pandemic to create a significant shift in ideas like remote work. Many of the most visible influencers focussed on FOW have moved on the other issues.
I like the characterisation you put together of your readers and I can see myself in there, yes.
I do tend to agree with Larry Everson in that "future of work" is perhaps too much of a niche when what you offer is so much broader. Could you use refer to it as the present and future (of the world) work?
And there is something else you offer, Stowe, which is magic: not just the myriad themes and threads but most importantly the suggestions you offer about how they cross each other. Because it's those touching points which propel our thinking and spark new ideas.
Thank you for all that you do and all that you offer!
As for the 'tired phrase' comment. Whilst yes - actually emphatically NO. It might be tired in certain circles - but it is clear that in the wider world it is not - not least of which is that 'the' implies a definitive answer - whereas 'a' is nearer the truth ... because the future of work for (say) a coal miner is not that of a health practitioner , which in turn is not that of a knowledge worker, etc.
We need to widen the conversation to account for what it means to EVERYONE.
As I wrote in a free subset of my newsletter just recently ...
> "Even the Craiyon images (admittedly, it’s a smaller data set than Dall-E 2) suggest that 'it' is one or more 'knowledge workers' with one or more computing device(s) working in teams.
> Is that it? Really?
The question was rhetorical.
Thanks for sharing this.
love this sharing. As a futurist, this all interests me greatly. We could find similar writers and make a joint discord.
I like the definition of your audience. It is a confluence that mirrors the Medici Effect of multiple pathways that are colliding along this journey of workplace transition.