I wanted to share this brief article from the BBC about the changing nature of work. In the article, Tom Austin of research firm Gartner starts with the question "If you were to sit down today and create a company completely from scratch, would you copy the processes, practices and structures of today's organisations, or would you try to do something different?" In his article, Austin discusses the different ways that our "work" is changing:
- Work is no longer as "routine". For example, through technology we can automate some tasks, freeing us to work on other, more complex problems. Or we can help people find ways to evaluate the impact of a change without going through a process in "real time".
- "Swarms" are replacing traditional teams, and solo work. Swarming is a new and different form of teamwork, characterised by a flurry of collective activity from everyone available and able to add value.
- Working in a collective can work beyond the traditional, direct control of "old style" organizations, allowing the collective members to think "outside the box" to invent new ways to address problems.
- Sketch-ups, simulation, and simulation are new ways to represent data, to make an informed decision. In technology, projects used to work according to a strict "analyze/design/build/test/deploy" methodology, but that's changing into a more flexible model.
- Hyper-connectedness is the new norm, and with it changes the approach to where we work.
This is only an overview of the article, what I found relevant to higher education. There's some interesting analysis in there. How do you see the nature of our work changing over time? Things aren't the same as they were even a short 5 years ago. What will the future look like? The students who graduated this year carry with them completely new expectations of how to work collaboratively on projects, which changes the dynamic of what we consider "work".