What is a good question?

Asking good questions is an important part of the KO insights process. Naturally, we want to define what makes a question good. There is no definitive answer to this question, but there are a few things that all good questions have in common.

First, good questions are specific. They don’t try to ask too much all at once, but instead focus on a specific issue or problem. This allows us to explore the problem in depth and find a more targeted solution.

Second, good questions are clear. They are free of ambiguity and confusion so that we can understand them fully and know exactly what we need to do to answer them.

Third, good questions are open-ended. They invite exploration and creativity rather than demanding a single, correct answer. This allows us to think more deeply about the problem and come up with a more original solution.

Finally, good questions are relevant. They address a real need or problem that we are facing so that we can find a useful and actionable solution.

Asking good questions is an essential part of the process of looking for insights. By focusing our questions and keeping them relevant, clear, and open-ended, we can explore problems more deeply and find more original solutions.

How transformative is digital transformation supposed to be?

how transformative is human centric digital transformation supposed to be

The headlines these days have been even more challenging than usual.*

Or perhaps — hear me out — you could make that statement at almost moment ever, and people would agree: the headlines right now are more challenging than usual.

Humans have a very complicated relationship with change, and that’s partly because we have a very complicated relationship with time. We also tend to think of moments other than now as exceptional: that there was something extra-special about historical events that nothing happening now could possibly compare to. We miss the significance of what happens sometimes when we don’t see it through the lens of history. Yet on the other hand, we overlook the extraordinary ordinariness of this moment: this moment right here could be the one when we decide to commit to fully-engaged climate action that won’t settle for less than true resilience for the planet and all its people. Or it could just as easily have been a moment 10 or 20 or 40 years ago. All we need is to make the moment happen.

Transformation, digital and otherwise

I’m saying all of this partly because if your organization is anything like most of those I’ve spoken and consulted with, you’re still trying to figure out exactly what digital transformation is supposed to mean for you and your customers. (It’s ok: I’m not naming names. Your secret is safe with me.)

So it’s totally fair if you’re wondering just how transformative this whole process is actually supposed to be. “How deeply should we be thinking about transformation beyond digital? I mean, transformation means change, and that might mean all kinds of change, and we’re already up to our ears in change. Just how much change are we talking about, Kate, and how deep can we expect it to go?”

Those questions are good. After all, questions lead to insights, and insights steer you to the answers and solutions that serve the moment and the context.

So yes, I hear you. Let’s unpack.

Transformation of business models, value chains, and the whole ecosystem

The questions we’re asking may be prompting some deeper insights — and they might get uncomfortable. The questions about just how far transformational strategy is supposed to go reach deep into our relationship with change and time, and the insights that emerge might sound a bit like ‘everything is connected.’ And the more we consider that, the more it paints a picture of a need for holistic change.

We can’t solve for the future of work without considering what work means to us. We can’t make sense of the weird future of money and solve for the future of the economy without understanding what the economy is, fundamentally.

We can’t solve the climate with technology, but once we have deeply considered what we’re trying to solve for, we can absolutely harness the power and capacity of technology to solve human problems at scale.

You may be asking different questions and coming up with different answers. That’s perfectly understandable. After all, digital transformation is bound to look different in different industries, in different organizations, given different externalities (like, say, oh I don’t know, how a global pandemic affected your region and your business). And depending on your role, the way you experience the questions and insights about transformational strategy might even be slightly different than other types of employees in your organization.

The digital transformation of experiences… and not

But our questions began with digital transformation, so let’s go ahead and give the topic its due. By the time we arrive at this part of our journey, after considering the broader context of transformation, we can see that the digitalization of experiences has the potential to transform not only the way we do business but also the way we live.

For inspiration on how data-supported and connected innovations are reshaping industries, look no further than the banking sector: As we’ve seen over the past few years, digital innovation is disrupting traditional models, redefining our understanding of value and asset classes, and pushing established brands to rethink how they engage with their customers.

This disruption is by no means limited to financial services. We can see it in other sectors such as hotels, airlines, and hospitality businesses. And yet, for all that disruption, the experience architecture of interacting with a hotel or airline has not fundamentally changed. You still check in and check out, for example — but now, rather than a human at a desk or counter, it’s more common to do these activities through an app. (Or in some settings, perhaps with a robot stationed behind the counter.)

It means personal transformation too

The Great Resignation, if you look at it with enough empathy, has been about personal transformation. Between the covid pandemic and the accelerating climate crisis, plenty of people are feeling like the core of their humanity and their employment is out of sync. We need a new approach to work that allows us to feel in touch with our humanity.

Transformational strategy needs insights

When I describe what I do, I sometimes say I offer “insights for transformational strategy.” (I might sometimes add “that leads to better business and better human experiences,” but it depends how concise I’m trying to be.) Transformational strategy is needed anytime we’re facing outside pressures, changing market demands, evolving technological landscape, or, y’know, random externalities that alter the entire landscape (ahem, covid).

The rapid responses to COVID-19 in healthcare, education, retail, and food service have given us a glimpse at an accelerated world of digital-ready experiences. Through the power of connected video calls and a little imagination, you can visit a dentist virtually, attend a wedding on the other side of the world, conduct a socially-distanced photo shoot, and, as we all learned ad nauseum during the lockdown days, so very much more.

Questions to get you started

You need good questions to get those insights going, right? Here are some starters to get you talking with your team:

  • No matter what transformation you are considering, what is the purpose you are trying to achieve at scale?
  • What is an emotional state that people are often in when they find your brand, and how can you, with respect and empathy, plan your digital systems to meet that state of mind?
  • How can you emphasize alignment?
  • If covid or the climate crisis meant a complete end to all in-person interactions that happen for your brand, how would you make sure to add human touches and a sense of human connection to the digital versions?
  • What is significant about the passage of time in the experience people have with your brand or product?

These questions might not (and shouldn’t) have easy answers, but they should begin the process of searching for insights. Once you have an a-ha moment, your next steps should be clearer.

And Finally: How to Offer Meaningful, Transformational Help

* This post begins with an oblique reference to the war in Ukraine, and we can’t leave without suggesting some ways to offer meaningful help.

Global Citizen has a robust list of resources for anyone looking to offer help in Ukraine or stay informed about the situation.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is raising emergency funds to help displaced families.

CNN has partnered with Public Good to raise funds to be distributed among 15 organizations, or if you see a particular organization doing work that means something special to you, you can also donate directly at the same link.

Your metaverse strategy needs to go beyond Facebook

As a business leader, you’ve probably been eyeing the headlines about the metaverse and pondering your organization’s future there. Maybe you already have a metaverse strategy — in which case, congratulations on your virtual fashions, virtual makeup, virtual bank lobby, or whatever other virtual product you’ve already launched. Or perhaps you’re watching the news of the metaverse a bit like a drunk patron at an all-night diner watching a rat in the corner to make sure it doesn’t get any closer as you hurry to eat your grilled cheese.

Speaking as someone who founded a business called [meta]marketer in the late 2000s, the observation of the “meta” nature of much of the digital space is not new. But given Facebook’s brand pivot to Meta, this seems like the moment to delve into this topic more fully here.

Sorry, I had to do it.

What does all this have to do with Facebook?

If you’ve been living under a rock (or in quarantine) for the past few months: there’s been a bit of discussion about Facebook lately. This includes not just the outcry surrounding their unethical ad practices, but also the implications of their algorithmic manipulation of content in users’ feeds. A lot of this discussion has been brought to high alert by whistleblowers like Frances Haugen.

But Facebook has also garnered headlines (and, pardon my skepticism, effectively diverted some of the public sentiment from outrage to curiosity) for the announcement of their new corporate structure, with Meta as the name of the new overarching company above Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Oculus, and everything else.

As someone who has been widely quoted (and somewhat misquoted) for my criticism of Facebook in the media, allow me to go on record in saying this:

The metaverse isn’t Facebook, and that’s good news.

But why not adopt Facebook’s platform for your metaverse strategy? Why look beyond Facebook?

I’m not here to crucify or praise Facebook, nor am I trying to rule out their role in future metaverse efforts. I’m certain their contributions will be substantial. But at best, those efforts are likely to be proprietary and built around these same questionable ethical practices that keep bringing them back into the headlines.

Their objectives will naturally be to increase the time users spend in their apps, increase their advertising revenue, and increase user growth. These goals are a pretty standard part of an overall company strategy that aims to build value for the shareholders of that company. So Facebook isn’t evil because they want these things — in this respect, they’re simply acting as a business. The sticking point is the means by which they achieve them, what they’re willing to sacrifice in the meantime, and the lengths to which they’re willing to go.

Just one more, sorry.

The larger potential of virtual worlds

I’ve said for years that our digital selves are our aspirational selves, and that was before we had the latest bloom of deeply immersive virtual playgrounds to spin our avatar around in.

If we think about virtual worlds as the earliest adopter of the metaverse label, it makes sense that Facebook would want to harness them for their potential. It’s already been happening with “social VR” experiences like AltspaceVR and vTime. We’re seeing more indications of this trend with relationship statuses between Oculus Rift and Spaces. We see it in the News Feed’s support of 360 degree video. As tech companies become more enamored with the potential of virtual reality, they’ll try to take control where it matters most: social media. The advertising implications are significant, as is the opportunity for them to tie your identity to one identity across all these devices/implementations/experiences.

But this is precisely why I’m wary of Facebook’s enterprise in the metaverse. Even if their contributions are intended to be open source, they’ll be tied up with legal agreements that could potentially give them an upper hand in how these technologies develop. The implications for user privacy and security are tremendous when it comes to transitioning between virtual worlds. We just don’t have time for them to play catch-up on cleaning up their ethical practices while they simultaneously try to figure out how best to lock down and monetize the virtual land-grab.

In any case, the metaverse isn’t Facebook, and Facebook’s vision of the metaverse isn’t the be-all end-all. There are entire worlds of creative vision left to dream up and implement. Which is why you need a good metaverse strategy to build from: one that puts human experience at the center, and pulls your brand forward.

What should your metaverse strategy actually look like, then?

Well, this part is fun. This is part of what I address in my keynote and consulting around Third Places and Third Spaces. If you are beginning a brainstorming process with your team, here are some thought-starters you can use to provoke discussion and ideas.

  • Think about interoperability. What is the value of being radically extensible?
  • Think about expansiveness. What is the meaning of extending beyond perceived limitations, while simultaneously offering a sense of place?
  • Think about the value of your brand to people who enjoy it. What does that suggest about the economy of the experience your brand can create?
  • Think about persistence, synchronicity, and on-demand experiences. Think also about the value of special experiences that might happen at one time. What does that temporal value mean to the people who enjoy your brand?

These are questions and provocations that aren’t intended to have simple, easy answers. They’re meant to get your brain gears turning and new ideas churning.

The best answers here are those that pull you forward into new insights about your brand and how to enrich your offering with relevance.

As always, if we can be of help, please reach out.

I look forward to seeing what strategic visions you bring to the metaverse. The opportunity is so much bigger than any one company. And it’s big enough to bring your brand — and the people who interact with it — into a brighter future.

Why Strategic Optimism is not toxic positivity

Today is National Optimists Day, apparently. (I mean, there’s a day for everything.)

In honor of the, uh, holiday(?), I wanted to address a point of confusion that has surfaced in a few of my media interviews since launching A Future So Bright. People latch on to the word “bright” in the title as well as “optimism” in the book’s subtitle (“How Strategic Optimism and Meaningful Innovation Can Restore Our Humanity and Save the World”) and they tend to overlook the all-important word “strategic” — not to mention the “meaningful innovation” bit, which is a necessary piece of the solution.

In other words, there seems to be a temptation to reduce the entire discussion to something like “looking on the bright side of life.” And hey, I can certainly own that a good deal of the fault here lies with me for titling the book that way. But there’s so much more to this book than the reductive idea of “looking on the bright side.” Rather than gloss over the darkness and the problems in the world, the ideas in the book are intended to help us face those challenges and still create the brighter future we’d like to see. So here on National Optimists Day, I’d very much like to clear up this misunderstanding.

Because so many discussions about what it means to be optimistic veer into the realm of what is often referred to as “toxic positivity.” And when it comes to technology, optimistic views too often lead to a mindless kind of techno-optimism, or techno-utopianism. None of this is actually helpful.

What IS helpful is to blend an optimistic view of what’s possible with a strategy for how to get there. Strategic Optimism, as I call it. That way we see the best of what we can achieve, and we get to work, with a plan, to make it happen. It’s an active process. All the while, we acknowledge what can go wrong and work to prevent the risks and harms from happening. But our focus — and our effort — stays oriented toward the best outcomes.

So think of this as a gift in celebration of National Optimists Day, if you like: I’ve decided to share below a good chunk of what I wrote about optimism — and specifically about my model of Strategic Optimism — in A Future So Bright, free for you to read right here. (And of course, after that you are welcome to go buy the book.) I’ve even added boldface emphasis in a few places to help you skim if you just want to get the broad strokes.

Let’s have a look:

Optimism gets a bad rap. […] So for reasons I’ll lay out here, the position I’m taking is clear-eyed, determined optimism with a commitment to follow-through, and it’s the stance I hope you’ll take alongside me before you’re finished reading this book.

The problem with optimism has been that instead of wielding it as a powerful tool for envisioning and working toward the best outcomes, people roundly mock it as a folly of the naïve. Historically, optimism in literature and philosophy has been dismissed as unthinking, unserious, unintellectual. And when they aren’t being ridiculed, optimists are scorned for willfully ignoring real harms.

But what about the advantages of looking at the bright side? A savvy approach to optimism can help us avoid the kind of failure that comes from not thinking about what might happen if things go better than we planned. And when it’s used properly and paired with the right tools, as I’ll explain in this book, optimism can actually help us acknowledge the whole truth of our circumstances, direct our focus, and align our efforts toward the best way forward.

Optimism doesn’t have to be simple-minded, shortsighted, or unaccompanied by rationalism. So yes indeed, there is a way to harness the power of optimism so that it is as clear-eyed as possible, as strategic as possible, as inclusive as possible, as aligned with success as possible, as actionable as possible, and as achievable as possible. That is the only optimism worth having, and it is the approach this book lays out.

[…]

The best way—perhaps the only way—to build a bright future is to challenge ourselves to envision the best future possible for the most people while at the same time acknowledging the ways the future could go dark and working to prevent that from happening.

Looking at what can go right as well as what can go wrong is a key part of what I call the Strategic Optimism Model. […] What this approach asks of us, in short, is to look at the whole picture, acknowledge the risks and the potential harms, and then actively work to mitigate them as we steer toward the most helpful, most meaningful outcomes.

The biggest obstacle in front of us? We’ve been taught to think about and talk about the future in too limited a way. Dystopia versus utopia? That’s more than useless; it’s dangerous. The falseness of that dichotomy (which we’ll explore in Beyond “Dystopia versus Utopia“), the dismissal of utopia as impossible, and the resulting despair of being left to accept an ever-encroaching dystopia keeps us from focusing on and addressing what we can actively do every day to ensure tomorrow is better than today, and next year is better than this year. It’s time to disrupt dystopia and give ourselves the freedom to imagine the bright future we really want to create.

— O’Neill, Kate. A Future So Bright: How Strategic Optimism and Meaningful Innovation Can Restore Our Humanity and Save the World. KO Insights.

Got that? Good. Feeling fired up? Even better. Here’s some more:

Let’s start with what Strategic Optimism is not:

Strategic Optimism is not “the power of positive thinking.”

Positive thinking is appealing for many and arguably important as guidance for aligning resources and focusing efforts. But I find its most devout adherents often take its application too far and apply it too literally.

It can quickly turn into an ugly case of victim blaming—as in, if you don’t have everything, you must not be thinking positively enough. For example: Got cancer? Why don’t you just think your way out of it?

That’s not at all the mindset we’re looking for here. Where the positivity principles do make sense is in aligning with our experience. The key is that framing our goals in terms of positive outcomes as opposed to negative ones—e.g., “I want to be wealthy” instead of “I don’t want to be broke”—generally lends itself to a stronger overall ability to focus and rally resources. It makes a very simple kind of sense: There is momentum in the positive, whereas the negative is all about stopping, and there’s no forward motion in that. Life is all about forward motion, so it’s practical to use a mental model that aligns with our experience and feels like it accompanies us as we move through time and space.

It’s not a matter of “law of attraction” or “power of positive thinking,” but rather of accepting that perceived limitations change our actions. If we let our beliefs limit us, we are guaranteed not to try.

Strategic Optimism is not about ignoring the limitations, risks, or harms that do exist; in fact, it’s about acknowledging the full reality of the current situation and the full range of possible outcomes, mitigating the worst outcomes, and working diligently toward achieving the best.

So what is Strategic Optimism, then?

The best results come about when we not only visualize the best possible future but also make a plan to commit ourselves to achieving it. This by necessity entails some variation of making goals, creating timelines, and sticking to them. In other words, developing some kind of strategy to achieve what you are hoping for.

Laying out a plan also means acknowledging the risks and harms that could occur and developing more plans to mitigate those, but also spending time on the ways the plan could go right and investing effort in ensuring those positive results come to fruition.

When we lay out our plans for the future, we know that we need to acknowledge the risks, but we often forget to spend as much time thinking about the opportunities. This can actually cost us: We might underestimate how successful a new product could be, for instance, and fail to have a way to meet demand; we might negotiate well below the value of our contributions in a job or a project; we might be so preoccupied with worst-case scenarios that when our moment to shine takes us by surprise, we’re fully unprepared for it.

— O’Neill, Kate. A Future So Bright: How Strategic Optimism and Meaningful Innovation Can Restore Our Humanity and Save the World. KO Insights.

It’s hard to overstate how helpful optimism with a strategy can be — while at the same time it’s hard to overstate how harmful it is to allow the above to be oversimplified and made into positivity without a plan.

Throughout my research, I kept encountering quotes about optimism. Some of them resonated, some very much did not. This discussion brings me back to one of the two quotes that I chose to the open the book, which spoke to me the most:

“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.”

— Henry Rollins

My optimism brings a strategy. How about yours?

Strategy Requires Choices

Try to read this passage in a detached, objective way, divorced from the politicizing of the pandemic and instead think only as a strategist must:

So if not cases, then what? “We need to come to some sort of agreement as to what it is we’re trying to prevent,” says Céline Gounder, an infectious-disease expert at New York University. “Are we trying to prevent hospitalization? Are we trying to prevent death? Are we trying to prevent transmission?” Different goals would require prioritizing different strategies. The booster-shot rollout has been roiled with confusion for this precise reason: The goal kept shifting. First, the Biden administration floated boosters for everyone to combat breakthroughs, then a CDC advisory panel restricted them to the elderly and immunocompromised most at risk for hospitalizations, then the CDC director overruled the panel to include people with jobs that put them at risk of infection.

On the ground, the U.S. is now running an uncontrolled experiment with every strategy all at once. COVID-19 policies differ wildly by state, county, university, workplace, and school district. And because of polarization, they have also settled into the most illogical pattern possible: The least vaccinated communities have some of the laxest restrictions, while highly vaccinated communities—which is to say those most protected from COVID-19—tend to have some of the most aggressive measures aimed at driving down cases. “We’re sleepwalking into policy because we’re not setting goals,” says Joseph Allen, a Harvard professor of public health. We will never get the risk of COVID-19 down to absolute zero, and we need to define a level of risk we can live with.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/11/what-americas-covid-goal-now/620572/

If you didn’t catch the salient bits, let me show it to you again as a screen shot with the key text highlighted:

“Every strategy all at once.” Does that sound familiar in your environment? Many of us run the businesses and operations in our lives, whether they’re a matter of public health or not, without clear direction and strategy, and end up in these kinds of confused scenarios, too.

That last quote is also a gem: “sleepwalking into policy because we’re not setting goals.”

What are you sleepwalking into?

When I wrote about Strategic Optimism in A Future So Bright, it wasn’t just about feel-good reinforcement of positive thinking — it’s about tough decisions. If we want the best futures, we have to be willing to make bold choices.

What choices are you making, and what choices are you not making?

Introducing “Strategic Optimism”

All around us we seem to be surrounded by bad news and hard choices. And yet you, as a leader, still have to make choices. You still have to manage teams of people who are looking to you for direction. You still have to decide what risks to take, what tradeoffs to make, — and it feels like I should add a third thing that ends in -ake but that’s probably just the former songwriter in me. I will resist.

Anyway, given all this, how can we put forward a positive outlook for our teams and our companies? How can we convince ourselves that there’s a brighter future to lead toward?

And how do we do all this with an awareness of the very real challenges in the world? And while acknowledging the very real harms that people are facing, and the negative potential outcomes of our actions — and our inactions?

The pessimists will say that we’re doomed, and nothing can be done to change it. The optimists will say that if we focus on the positive, nothing can go wrong. Neither of those views are true. Not on their own.

Today’s Approach to Leading for Tomorrow

The best way — indeed perhaps the only way — to confront the challenges we face and build a bright future is to allow ourselves to see the brightest future possible while at the same time acknowledging the ways the future could go dark and working to prevent that from happening. That’s Strategic Optimism.

Technology is developing rapidly and it has changed and will change society significantly. One consequence is that it stands to widen gaps in income and wealth. As a result, the top 1% of the population will own most of the world’s wealth, while some 80% of people may only have access to basic needs — if that. That’s due to the capacity and scale of using technology to power economic solutions. When it’s applied only to scaling corporate revenues, it benefits only the top corporate leaders. The untapped opportunity, though, is to harness the capacity and scale of technology to solve human problems at scale. But to do that requires a combination of thinking strategically and optimistically — both/and — about the decisions we make today for the future we want to create.

Making the Future a Little Bit Brighter

book cover image of A Future So Bright by Kate O'Neill
cover image from A Future So Bright: How Strategic Optimism Can Restore Our Humanity and Save the World, by Kate O’Neill

That’s what I explore in my new book A Future So Bright. My aim is to help you develop the habit of seeing both the good and the bad outcomes for any possible future situation, not just the rosy ones. That gives you the opportunity to prevent or mitigate the worst outcomes, while you lean with all your might into the best possible outcomes.

With Strategic Optimism, you can lead from a place of integrity, acknowledging the pain and anxiety people are feeling, but also the hope they very much want to feel. And you get to lead in a way that aligns with the best futures for the most people.


Helpful Links:

Book announcement earlier on this blog: “The New Book Unveiled: A Future So Bright

Book listing at Amazon: A Future So Bright: How Strategic Optimism Can Restore Our Humanity and Save the World (Kindle edition available for pre-order now; coming September 7th to print, Kindle, and audiobook formats)

New Biometric Privacy Law Goes Into Place in NYC on Friday July 9, 2021

Image by teguhjatipras, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Beginning July 9, all New York City commercial businesses that obtain customers’ biometric information must comply with a newly enacted protocol that protects consumers.

Commercial businesses that obtain biometric data from customers will be required to post signs on storefronts signifying they utilize this technology and will not be able to profit from any collected data. Additionally, employees of companies that utilize the technology are excluded from this ordinance.

http://newyorkcitywired.com/biometric-data-protected-in-new-york-city/

This Friday New York will join a growing list of cities that have banned the use of facial recognition and other biometrics in certain contexts and for certain purposes. The law was enacted by the city council in December.

Under the new law, any commercial establishment that collects, retains, converts, stores, or shares biometric information from customers must post a conspicuous sign near the establishment’s entrances notifying customers in plain language that their information is being collected, retained, converted, stored, or shared. Notably, “biometric information” is defined in broad terms to include a retina or iris scan, fingerprint or voice print, scan of hand, or face geometry, “or any other identifying characteristic.” The law also prohibits receiving anything of value in exchange for biometric information.

https://www.nixonpeabody.com/en/ideas/blog/data-privacy/2021/02/18/nyc-biometric-privacy-legislation-targets-retail-use-of-facial-recognition-technology

Failure to comply with the law can cost businesses between $500 and $5,000 for each violation, plus attorneys’ fees — so it’ll be worth it to read up on it and make sure you’re in compliance.


More posts about facial recognition in the KO Insights blog.

Measuring Human Work

One thing I said during last night’s “future of work”-themed event for Envoy in Atlanta (which will be re-broadcast as a webinar on January 30th) that I probably haven’t said enough elsewhere about human-centric digital transformation is that when it comes to people and productivity, we shouldn’t start with efficiency. That shouldn’t be the leading measure. In general, efficiency is for processes. People contribute to processes, but what they contribute to those processes is often of higher value than efficiency: it’s good judgment, context, decision-making, knowing when something needs to be slowed down or stopped in order to keep damage from happening — which is not efficient in the short term, but far more effective in the long term.

Whatever humans are being measured for that only comes down to efficiency is almost guaranteed to be replaced by machines. Which is fine! In most cases, we need to recognize and cultivate the higher value that humans bring to the work around those tasks and processes, though, which is where the new jobs of the future likely come in.

Ideally humans at work shouldn’t really be measured, per se, at all, but evaluated on performance according to values. Make people more effective at their work, help them do their work more thoughtfully and meaningfully, and more in alignment with the company’s purpose and goals, and inevitably their output will be better in every dimension, including efficiency.

New post at Medium: The Future of Work vs. the Future of Jobs

A recurring theme throughout my research, writing, and speaking has been the “future of work.” Er, or maybe the “future of jobs.” One reason they’re so hard to talk about is they’re not the same thing.

The future of work has to do with the way companies will achieve productivity in an increasingly automated ecosystem. The future of jobs, meanwhile, has to do with the way human beings will make their living, or in a theoretical system where resources are provided, how human beings will carve out their identity, which they have traditionally done at least in part through their chosen occupations.

Read the rest of my latest piece at Medium:

https://medium.com/@kateo/the-future-of-work-vs-the-future-of-jobs-88d75698b2a4