What do you want the future of work to hold?
I think we should abolish employment!
This evening, I’m talking at The Future of Work Scotland about my ideas. I’m no expert, so I’m not predicting or analysing. I’ll talk about what I don’t like in the way we organise work at the moment, about what I recognise is required, and what I hope for in the future.
Here are some things I don’t like
- Parent-child models — implicit in the employment contract
- Turning people into machines — implicit in ‘below the API’ gig work
- Taxing employment (and IR35)
- Exploitation and unfairness — implicit in all of the above
- ‘Employee engagement’ — I want us to think about the difference between that and human connection
This will make me sound angry. But I’m not really.
I do recognise:
- The need for overall rights and protections
- That some people don’t want to have to constantly think about and renew their work, don’t want to be — couldn’t survive if they had to be — in the precariousness of gig work etc
- The need for organisation and structure — and governance of emergent properties — Total Football doesn’t happen on its own
- That certain things are required for work to happen
And the difference between working in the fresh green fields and the swamp!
I’ll define ‘three tribes’, the dependence-independence-interdependence-inter-intedependence patterns, what ‘above and below the API’ mean, my definition of work, and the underlying patterns that shape work and organisation.
What I want in the future is:
- Recognition of different needs of different people at different times — and of people AS people with freedom, rights, and duties
- Simplified taxation and Universal Basic Income
- Adult-to-adult fee contracting — in an agile way, which looks rather like good delegation
- The potential of DAOs to come good without replicating ALL the mistakes we’ve ever made in organisation