The rapidly changing workplace

Posted on by Brandon Klein

The Stacey Matrix shows the complex work space quite clearly. While simple and complicated work will remain, we need to focus our efforts on complex work, which traditional models of management or learning do not address. Neither learning management systems, talent management systems, nor any business management systems are going to be useful in the complex domain. The only practical interface for complexity is the human brain.

In the network era, the fundamental nature of work will change as we first transition into a complex post-job economy. The major driver of this change is the automation of all procedural work, especially through software, but increasingly with robots. Our dominant work structures will change, giving up hierarchy for adaptability. Individuals will have to shoulder more responsibility as authority gets distributed. Organizations will need to become more networked, not just with information technology, but how people create, use, and share knowledge. This new workplace also will require different leadership that emerges from the network and temporarily assumes control, until new leadership is required. Giving up control will be a major challenge for executives used to the old ways of work. An important part of leadership will be to hold the space so that people can freely cooperate and teams can self-manage. Social learning will be a major part of all work.