Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review of "Embracing Progress: Next Steps for the Future of Work," by A. Sophie Wade

Review of
Embracing Progress: Next Steps for the Future of Work, by A. Sophie Wade ISBN 9781599327853.

Five out of five stars
 The content of this book should be required content in modern courses of business management. The nature of work is changing in many ways, from the demise of the traditional lifetime employment doing the same general tasks and retiring with a pension to the dramatic rise of automation that vaporizes certain categories of jobs. The pace of technical change is also significant, so many people that do the same job for ten years are doing it in a vastly different way in year ten from the way they did it in year one.
 Many modern workers also have altered expectations, they will gladly surrender the old repetitive action jobs with security for the challenge of learning new ways and being given the opportunity to learn new things. Many of them recognize that this is the way it is now and are frustrated to the point of departure when the company they work for does not understand this.
 For many of the workers, it is important that the company they work for have a social policy that they agree with. This is reflected in the activism of many heads of modern companies, where they have been at the forefront of modern social movements such as same-sex marriage. Where they can, the workers will agitate for social justice within the company and depart if they feel that the organization is not aligned with their views on how society should function.
 Finally, there is a growing emphasis on the realization that the rule of thumb known as the 80-20 rule, where 80 percent of productivity is accounted for by 20 percent of the labor force is not necessarily valid. If a company does what is necessary to keep all their workers mentally engaged and their skill sets current, then the 80 percent figure will remain constant while the 20 percent figure goes up, leading to an overall increase in productivity.
 There are many general aspects of the concept of work that are changing, and doing so quickly. Wade examines many of them, explaining what is happening and several ways to go with the flow while simultaneously altering it. This is a great book to rattle the collective managerial mindset.

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