This isn’t what I was intending to post today but over the weekend, my invisible mentor, Seth Godin, posted two entries that are absolutely essential reading to help us recognize the revolution that’s currently happening in the world of work.
PART ONE: THE REALIZATION IS NOW
Americans are frustrated with the world and pessimistic about the future. They’re losing patience with the economy, with their prospects, with their leaders (of both parties).
What’s actually happening is this: we’re realizing that the industrial revolution is fading. The 80 year long run that brought ever-increasing productivity (and along with it, well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class) is ending.
It’s one thing to read about the changes the internet brought, it’s another to experience them. People who thought they had a valuable skill or degree have discovered that being an anonymous middleman doesn’t guarantee job security. Individuals who were trained to comply and follow instructions have discovered that the deal is over… and it isn’t their fault, because they’ve always done what they were told. READ THE REST…
And it’s not just the internet that’s driving this change — though the web is accelerating it. Globalization was already happening before Google. Humans are changing the way they think about the world, and business, in fundamental ways.
PART TWO: THE OPPORTUNITY IS HERE
At the same time that our economic engines are faltering, something else is happening. Like all revolutions, it happens in fits and starts, without perfection, but it’s clearly happening.
The mass market is being replaced by multiple micro markets and the long tail of choice. Google is connecting buyers and sellers over vaster distances, more efficiently and more cheaply than ever before. Manufacturing is more of a conceptual hurdle than a practical one.
The exchange of information creates ever more value, while commodity products are ever cheaper. It takes fewer employees to generate more value, make more noise and impact more people.
Most of all is this: every individual, self-employed or with a boss, is now more in charge of her destiny than ever before. The notion of a company town or a stagnant industry with little choice is fading fast. Right before your eyes, a fundamentally different economy, with different players and different ways to add value is being built. READ THE REST…
Many people are noticing the shift. We agree that it’s unprecedented and irreversible. But this is my concern — while there are tangible, helpful suggestions for how individuals can respond to the big shift (Seth is amazing at this), I haven’t seen enough suggestions for what leaders of organizations are supposed to do.
Here’s the question:
How do we re-organize in a way that doesn’t suck?
This is where we’re going…
(Also, this question will be answered in detail in the new book, which is probably getting A New Title. More on that soon!)