Work is structure.
A full treatment of work, careers, and jobs is beyond the scope of this site and frankly beyond my abilities. Hopefully, this site offers a unique structure, my thoughts about how you’ll work due to the current epidemic of disruption and how you’ll progress in your Brand U career.
Working It offers a structure for understanding and a framework for looking at work, careers, and jobs. Working It is not the total answer. Hopefully, it offers glimpses of what’s occurring around us whether we work for someone or for ourselves.
One of the powerful analytical tools in management theory is the systems approach that explains complex relationships in simple terms. Working It presents a systems approach to work. Elements of a system can be parts of a machine, actors in a play, or people at work.
Our 7P system of work consists of Paradigms, People, Principles, Practices, Products, Processes, and Projects®. Why did I use the 7Ps structure? It’s lucky seven. Yes, I know that’s a shallow answer. It’s mnemonic. It also explains many work changes and how our careers will develop.
The menu for the site is based on the 7P structure. In each 7P bucket, you’ll find hundred of fun and eye opening work articles.
Work and careers follow a cycle. The numbers are stunning. What does US Department of Labor say? We will have more than 5/6/7 in our lifetime. That’s phenomenal. The average job tenure is also going to be 2/3 years. That means that each 2/3 years, we will move on to a new job or even a new career that may be an extension of the present one or a complete new career opportunity.
What drives each cycle? Globalization. Disruption. Risk. Recessions. New business paradigms. Technology drivers. Outsourcing. Offshoring. Financial cataclysms. Federal bailouts. Recessions.
When there is a major, systemic change in the economy or in one’s vertical (industry sector), a person may lose his/her job and look for a new one again. Alternatively, the change may be driven by personal circumstances or personal decisions.
However, every time a person goes through one of these changes, the above 7P cycle or wheel starts again. The cycle means that a person has to understand the paradigms changing work, review the people element (how will the loss of work or a new job can impact a family, etc.), understand how one’s principles and those of the company match, learn new practices, develop one’s brand (Product), learn new processes, and so on.
So, what do the of the 7P’s mean?
The financial meltdown, double dip recession, globalism, off shoring, outsourcing, competitiveness, and technology will create new work, career, and job paradigms. What will organizations and work look like? The challenge is that predictions are made on quicksand because once they’re made, things change again. In this site, we introduce the significant shifting work paradigms.
Remember it’s all about people! Sometimes, it’s forgotten that people make an organization. People make critical buy and sell decisions. People develop new products. People service other people. People consume products and services. Without people, there are no customers, no consumers, no organizations, and no reason for work.
What’s your employer’s vision and mission? What’s your personal vision and purpose? Is your employer’s mission and yours aligned. Let’s first start with your employer. Should a business steward its resources for the benefit of future generations, share them with its employees, or maximize immediate financial returns for its shareholders?
And, what’s your fundamental purpose for working? Should your passions and principles be aligned with those of your employer, partners, and others? What should you do if there’s little alignment? Or, what should you do when the thrill is gone from a job or career? Accept the conditions, move on, or start a business? These are all-important questions that we’ll discuss on the site.
There are a number of practices that spell success in your work, career, and job? We all have to manage customer, time, quality, communications, risk, technology, and performance commitments, which are critical work practices.
Let’s look at one practice. Technology is both the biggest driver and facilitator of workplace change. Technology created the boundaryless corporation, which resulted in flat hierarchies and boundaryless careers. Where a career was once a vertical progression in a company, it’s now the accumulation and implementation of value added practices, information, and knowledge gained through diverse work experiences.
While it may sound callous, we are all Brand U products or brands that offer value to a buyer. Each of us needs to develop and distill our value-added differentiators. We’re hearing more buzz about the concept of Me-Inc. or Brand You, where each one of us either as a full time employee or independent contractor is essentially a value-adding small business with products and services.
A company’s core processes are how it conducts its business or in other words, how it works day in and day out. These core processes are the basic building blocks and value adding activities of any business. They may be ‘world class’ activities, policies, systems, people, etc. They differentiate a company from its competition. They provide high customer satisfaction and generate income opportunities.
In much the same way, each of us has a bundle of value-adding knowledge, skills, and competencies. These core proficiencies are what organizations want to develop and monetize.
More work is now organized around core processes and projects. Project management is evolving into a critical personal asset to ensure the right work is done right on time. These activities must be accomplished quickly, effectively, and efficiently. A project may involve typing a letter, responding to a customer request, or developing a superior product.
Some believe that 70% or more of the work in an organization may be project oriented. Some organizations are going as far as projectizing all their activities including their core processes. Most consulting, engineering, and medicine are already 100% projectized. When customer expectations are sky high and competition is deadly, the conventional wisdom is that projectized teams differentiate winners from losers.