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We cannot write about the Future of Work

 The vocabulary to describe the beyond the future of work does not exist yet. 

Abstract words we are currently using in attempt to imagine this foreign landscape include  “unprecedented”, “technological transformation” and “adaptability”.  

Employees have to unlearn their native language surrounding what it means to have their own job, profession and career. They need to relearn how to be resilient, adaptable and open to change.


In the past, the predictable timeline began with education, transitioned smoothly to career, concluding in retirement. 

Today, instead of learning to work, we have to work to learn. How else can the average professional worker of this generation experience 17 different jobs across 5 different industries or survive multiple paradigm shifts?


Instead of associating our identity with our job, our company, our education, we begin to think of ourselves in a whole new way. 

To conceptualize a job as the skills it requires, rather then the title at hand, is the mindset in which to strive. Employees are empowered to view themselves as a partner as they realize the profound value in a portable skillset and an ability to learn from the tools as well as with them.


While the human species is getting smarter and more efficient, the individual has the same cognitive capacity and bandwidth. The individual will need to shift toward utilizing the emotional and imaginative faculty of critical thinking and problem solving as machines replace every possible aspect of manual tasks. To access our cognitive bandwidth is to employ automated technology that will replace non-creative tasks. There is a misconception that high level jobs are safe from automation and low level jobs are at risk.


As degrees don’t guarantee jobs, we enter a renaissance period of learning, which values learning agility and mindset as what is needed are highly skilled people who can solve ambiguous and complex problems with creativity and collaboration. 

Spongelike learning and wisdom and knowing have now converged   


The domain of the elite is making ones passion productive, which can be done by being open to every industry, as we carve the line between ‘what is human work’ and ‘what is machine work’.  Human work will involve innovative entrepreneurial problem solving. Soft skills. The ability to help others. 


Platforms are more valuable then products as they aim first to create value then deliver supply to a market. Thus, to move out of scalable production to scalable learning is a step toward employee empowerment. Employees  will be viewed as partners with the freedom to explore the entire spectrum of industries.


Concepts Gleaned 

  1. Reinventing the notion of a firm – alternate value creation not product division. Create value rather then deliver products and services to a market. Supply chains.
  2. Moving out of scalable production to scalable learning 




TED TALKS to watch 

·      the unbicycle – how to unlearn 

·      the importance of why – Simon senior 

·      utopia for realists

·      cognitive bandwidth – creatively contribute (school model to create value)

·      work to learn. 


Posted on June 7, 2017

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