The Future of Work Is Learning

Luis Suarez By Luis Suarez
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As a result of John Tropea’s wonderful blog post from yesterday, which I have blogged about over here, there has been also quite an interesting and rather refreshing conversation developing on the side over at Google Plus around the topics of business processes, BRP (Barely Repeatable Processes), the role of traditional hierarchies and structures in today’s work environment while mixing and mingling with a networked organisation and where learning fits in there altogether. Some fascinating stuff in there, for sure! And one of the various reasons why I keep digging quite a bit G+ over other social networking sites. The depth of the conversations has been like no other so far! And it’s thanks to those conversations themselves how one keeps bumping into golden nuggets like the one shared yesterday by Dennis Callahan on that very same thread around “The Future of Work“.

Yes, indeed, you may have noticed how the last few blog posts have continued to raise my interest around the topic of The Future of Work and how social networking and social computing tools are helping redefine how we view and interact at work within a corporate environment to make it much more open, transparent, trustworthy, networked, meaningful. Well, it looks like that interest keeps growing further, specially, after going through that fantastic article put together by Dennis where he has shared 19 different very enlightening and educational resources on The Future of Work, ranging from links to other insightful blog entries, to short video clips, presentations, etc. etc. Quite a goldmine on its own right there, for sure!

However, from all of those resources mentioned by him, and which I would strongly recommend you all go through them, since they will be worth while your time, specially, if you are interested in this topic as well, there is one in particular that I thought I would expand further on it for a bit. More than anything else, because of how much it resonated with how I view work myself, but, perhaps much more importantly, because of how well it describes the current work I have been doing myself, and a whole bunch of other people!, for the last few years. And still going strong?

Time and time again I keep getting asked what my work day as a KMer, Community Builder and Social Computing Evangelist looks like, specially, while working at a large IT corporation that has been there, alive and kicking, for the last 100 years and counting? At times, it presents a bit of a challenge in itself, since I guess it’s pretty tough to try to describe what you are passionate about in an eloquent manner; too many things to cover in such a short time!; basically, that stuff you know you could talk for ages and ages yourself and never get tired of it. Yes, I guess that passion for what you do will describe it quite nicely at this stage. Well, T.A. McCann, founder of Gist.com, just did that beautifully for me over a couple of minutes in a short interview under the suggestive title of “The Future of Work Is Now“, which he himself blogged about over here.

It’s a priceless gem, for certain! I can tell you that! If we have been talking for a little bit now about The Future of the Workplace, about what meaningful, networked, freelanced, intrapreneurial (corporate) work is all about, T.A. McCann pretty much nails it on that short interview. I just couldn’t put it in much better words than what he did. If not, judge for yourselves:

Mind-blowing, isn’t it? Who would have thought that in that future of work concepts like multiple jobs across a working lifetime, having fun @ work, work life balance no longer there, retirement would no longer exist, do your best effort at all times, connecting and reaching out to others who share a common passion on a particular topic / goal with you, learning as a key driver of working together effectively, etc. etc. would be helping redefine how we view AND live our workplace(s). And all of that thanks to the emergence of social networking tools within the enterprise and beyond! Not too bad, right?

I am not sure what you folks would think, probably  that I am a dreamer or someone trying to live to the fullest an unrealistic, utopian business world that will never see the light, specially in today’s working environment. Perhaps too optimistic, too outrageously excited and eager for what’s to come. Well, may be. May be not. Who knows. The reality is that’s the current work environment I have been living, experiencing AND enjoying for the last couple of years, and I know for certain I am not the only one going through this, so I doubt it would be a dream any longer. More of an ever-growing reality, rather. It’s probably just a matter for us, knowledge workers, to define how we would want to make it work for ourselves; basically, have knowledge workers create and define their ideal job role(s) and get down to business.

After all, remember, “Individuals will have more freedom and power than ever before.

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About Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez has been working in the fields of Knowledge Management, collaboration, communities, and learning for the past seven years, and is heavily involved in social computing and its adoption within the enterprise. Luis shares his insights on important KM issues of today through The Knowledge Management Blog and ELSUA.NET, and is an active participant in the ITtoolbox blogging community.

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