Simon Terry

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Zeitgeist warning: the future of work is human

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Talk of the changing future of work and human potential is growing. There is discussion of the need to make the future of work more human in many different ways. The conversation runs from thought leaders to vendors to managers to employees.

Why now?

The cynics will attribute this to the last gasp of dreamers before a new networked information revolution of automation takes over. Hope you enjoyed your daydream: Welcome to Skynet and the singularity. The market pressures from global competitors, disruptive innovation and capital markets are as intense as ever. Management is doing a its job driving rising efficiency.  Technology will continue to advance its potential under human ingenuity.

We choose the path for humanity

So why be an optimist?

We get to choose. Remember there is no external power determining the course of history. Humans collectively get to choose and to make it happen. The evil external force we fear is us. The peers, management teams, the markets & the competitors are other people too.

In the last thousand years collectively we have chosen paths that lead to great knowledge, productivity, wealth and freedom. We have embraced major social changes that have changed our institutions, markets and our organisations because they made our lives more human.

There are decisions that deprive people of their potential that others can no longer make without consequences. No CEO will stand and argue for the profitability of slavery, discrimination, violence or tyranny in our workplaces. We have used leadership to realise this potential and make the changes required. With enormous cost, turmoil and effort we have created change.

If you want to make a bet on the future of work, bet on humanity. Leadership is the technology of human potential and we would waste our lives of we did not work to realise that greater potential. Networks now give us the power to use leadership to connect and engage people in change. Use your leadership and creativity to help make work more human.

I know where I will put my efforts. I am comforted to know many others are working for the same goal.

Note: If you are interested in working to change the future of work, then check out Change Agents Worldwide, The Responsive Organisation, read anyone of a dozen other manifestos or get in touch with me. I would love to help


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