I’m using this week to clear a few ‘titles’ that have been waiting to be written. They have been languishing at the end of my document, waiting for their words to land. Today, a title that i wrote back in July, but never completed: exploring ‘a more human future of work’.
Some things are natural, some made up. Organisations, the entities in which we work, are made up. They are a modern construct, built according to principles of ‘scientific’ management, to achieve effect at scale. But they often (not always) come with an unintended consequence: they concentrate both wealth, and power, at the top, and they often evolve into mechanisms of control. They end up exploiting people, serving a narrow good. They end up being fair, as long as you are in the club of ‘fair’. They sometimes lack humanity.
In the Social Age, the balance of power, between individual, community, and Organisation, shifted. It’s a general rebalancing: an enablement of socially moderated systems, and a gradual de-powering of certain formal ones. It’s no longer enough to fill the seats: to truly thrive, we need the right people, and we must create the conditions for those people to thrive. We must act fairly, with humility, and with social justice to the fore. We must serve, not exploit, the communities in which we grow.
We know this from natural ecosystems: if we abuse the balance, the system can collapse. Society does not exist to serve organisations: Organisations exist within society. They have a duty to be fair, to create a more human future of work.
People worry about automation, about AI, about the effects that this will have upon people. But we are already in a world where, even without these things, we lack humanity and fairness. A more human future of work may well, without any additional effort, give us organisations that are geared up to thrive in the Social Age. Deeply interconnected, highly agile. Deeply fair