1 hr

A New Work Operating System: Thinker John Boudreau Workplace Stories by RedThread Research

    • Management

Is it time to retire the concept of a job? Is it holding us all back—especially if we really want to make Hybrid Work a success? That’s a new, and we think highly useful, concept from today’s guest, author, academic and futurist John Boudreau. In the episode, John tells us how we want to move away from thinking about work as one job and job holder at a time and one degree at a time, to a system that allows the parts to freely connect, so tasks and projects can connect to atomized or deconstructed worker capabilities like Skills, which can be gained through an atomized set of things like experiences, partial degrees or credentials. John—a well-known HR scholar who’s Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization and a Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Effective Organizations at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California—says his thinking here is that we’ve been using the wrong unit of analysis in ‘the job,’ and that a new operating system of work is needed that should be instead be based on deconstructed elements of a role in terms of tasks rather than being based primarily on the job as the atomic unit of HR analysis. As you’re about to find, this is all set forth in his new book with fellow researcher Ravin Jesuthasan, Work Without Jobs, whose top concepts we try and explore, like what it might be like to ‘melt’ a job down to see what it’s made of and who could do bits of it instead, as well as a very new way of thinking about ice cubes. We’re so honored John agreed to be our lead-off guest for the Season, as we think it identifies many key themes and frees up some real opportunities for fresh Hybrid Work thinking we’ll all find useful. Just be careful you don’t melt while listening.

Is it time to retire the concept of a job? Is it holding us all back—especially if we really want to make Hybrid Work a success? That’s a new, and we think highly useful, concept from today’s guest, author, academic and futurist John Boudreau. In the episode, John tells us how we want to move away from thinking about work as one job and job holder at a time and one degree at a time, to a system that allows the parts to freely connect, so tasks and projects can connect to atomized or deconstructed worker capabilities like Skills, which can be gained through an atomized set of things like experiences, partial degrees or credentials. John—a well-known HR scholar who’s Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization and a Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Effective Organizations at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California—says his thinking here is that we’ve been using the wrong unit of analysis in ‘the job,’ and that a new operating system of work is needed that should be instead be based on deconstructed elements of a role in terms of tasks rather than being based primarily on the job as the atomic unit of HR analysis. As you’re about to find, this is all set forth in his new book with fellow researcher Ravin Jesuthasan, Work Without Jobs, whose top concepts we try and explore, like what it might be like to ‘melt’ a job down to see what it’s made of and who could do bits of it instead, as well as a very new way of thinking about ice cubes. We’re so honored John agreed to be our lead-off guest for the Season, as we think it identifies many key themes and frees up some real opportunities for fresh Hybrid Work thinking we’ll all find useful. Just be careful you don’t melt while listening.

1 hr