What is Work?
Gartner is questioning current management models and wondering if they are still useful. This is great and well overdue. An example is “what is work?” We believe more than ever that the what, why, and how we work either is or has changed, or wants to change and is being held back by traditional thinking.
Seven years ago, we observed “the cloud” and ask ourselves how this will impact the way we work. We started with a clean “napkin” and with a lot of help and support we have reinvented the way we think about work. We started by observing people working and asked, “what is the value of the work?”. To clarify what is work, we boiled it down to a simple model. We considered a provider and consumer of work. We call this work a service. Dentists provide a service. On-demand software developers provide a service. In fact, we believe all work from the CEO to the janitor can be described as a service. Thus, a so-called job produces no work or value. The human “in the job” represents one full-time equivalent (FTE) and typically provides several services. The value of each service is attributed by the customer/consumer. The service provider (worker) manages his or her customer’s experience.
Managing is no longer about distributing work to workers in jobs. Managing is about setting priorities and desired outcomes of their service providers such that their customers attribute the most value.