Timely, critical, instructional and enlightening are how I describe the book, Work Disrupted, by Jeff Schwartz.
“I wrote this book to share my view that the future of work, a source of fear for so many, is actually about the opportunities, the resilience, and the growth that we can leverage to do things differently,” explains Schwartz.
He adds, “My work on this book had been well underway before the global pandemic took hold in the early 2020. However, there’s no doubt that it brought a new sense of urgency to my exploration of the future of work that had begun seven years earlier.”
- Future of Work offers guidance to individuals, business leaders and institutions so they can make smart choices that will help shape their future of work.
That future will be impacted by the changes in technology, including automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). And, by new employment models, including freelancers, gig workers, and crowds. The future will impact how we work, where we work, who we work with, and the skills and capabilities we need to work.
The book is organized in three parts:
Part I – The chapters in Part I explore the shifting dynamics in how machines and people work together; who will do the work; and where will work be done.
Part II – Explores how to build long-term resilience as we plan for many careers, organizations promote teams and networks, and leaders extend their roles as coaches and designers.
Part III – Offers playbooks—integrating the insights we have explored—to guide individuals, businesses, and societies preparing for the changes ahead.
Some of my favorites takeaways from Future of Work include:
“A great leader in the new economy is someone who can build teams, understand the implications of technology on business, adapt to the speed at which business is happening, operate at a high level and a low level simultaneously, and build trust across the organization to get things done.” – Businessroundtable.org.
A must-read section of the book includes where Schwartz explains the required seven key mindset shifts for business leaders:
- Moving beyond cost reduction and efficiency as the main goal.
- Redefining work instead of just redesigning jobs.
- Leveraging the entire open talent continuum.
- Building beyond a narrow focus on skills and reskilling.
- Developing the agility to lead in whitewater conditions, shifting away from linear development.
- Creating a symphonic team and breaking down silos.
- Moving beyond the traditional approach of managing work and workforces as prescribed administrative functions.