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Work Without Jobs

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Work Without Jobs

How to Reboot Your Organization’s Work Operating System

MIT Press,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The gig economy and new technologies will erode boundaries and hierarchies.


Editorial Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Visionary
  • Engaging

Recommendation

Forces such as new technologies rapidly disrupt the workplace, say Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau, and the future of work no longer centers around jobs or employees. Organizations that want to get ahead of the curve must “deconstruct” work into its component parts and reassemble all the moving pieces, such as tasks and worker capacities, into more effective arrangements. Jesuthasan and Boudreau urge leaders to adopt agile practices and prepare for disruption of their roles as they help organizations embrace a new paradigm of work.

Summary

Winning organizations of the future must “deconstruct” and “reconstruct” the current work paradigm.

As the gig economy and technological advances in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) disrupt the traditional workplace, organizations must develop new approaches to the future of work. Traditionally, employers “constructed” work into specific job descriptions – featuring skills, remuneration, awards and performance reviews. Future-oriented organizations must deconstruct and reconstruct traditional jobs.

Deconstruction refers to breaking jobs down into their main components – projects and tasks – and reconsidering the strengths of current jobholders’ skills and capabilities. Reconstruction means reassembling the elements of a job from assigning tasks to making the best use of specific employee strengths. 

Just as different computers and devices have different operating systems, workplaces also have operating systems of their own. Traditional work operating systems create a framework that supports certain job hierarchies, titles and qualifications while also supporting connections...

About the Authors

Consulting Magazine recognized Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ravin Jesuthasan as one of the world’s top 25 most influential consultants on the future of work and human capital. University of Southern California professor at the Marshall School of Business John W. Boudreau, PhD is the research director of the Center for Effective Organizations.


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