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WTF! Blog

WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY is a blog about the art of the possible, practiced well in advance. We build trust, inspire belief, and create better tomorrows, today, for forward-facing clients and their communities. We do this through short-term innovation and long-term transformation initiatives guided by the North Star of shared purpose.

Are You About to be “Algo’d”—replaced by an algorithm? Part 1.

Algo’d (verb) al· go.d | \ ˈal-gə-ˌdid

Definition of Algo’d

1: a procedure for converting a human activity (i.e. work) to an automated process that can be performed by some type of computer-driven equipment or device guided in its operation by mathematical algorithms

2: solving an operational task in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation

3: a step-by-step procedure for performing a task to a­­­ccomplishing some end

Yeah, Says Who?

One of the major trends, blending demographic changes with technology advances, is the onward march towards greater automation in our economy. That’s a fancy way of saying, “The robots are coming.” And they are not just that warm, fuzzy image we have of R2D2.

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Brand Transformation for Relevance—And How To Do It

For the past 20 years, we’ve worked with a wide range of companies and organizations all over the world, including a number of Fortune 20 companies. We’ve noticed a growing sense of dissatisfaction, and the desire of both leaders and employees at all levels to find greater meaning and impact in their work. As we begin 2019, this widespread hunger for a new sense of fulfillment in our work and the need for transformation to meet the challenges that constant change bring is more prevalent than ever. With this in mind, we offer a step-by-step path to filling this void with a new sense of shared purpose and value.

The purpose of transformation

Old into new: In 2019, we need to transition more than ever from the Old Story of Profit First to the New Story of Purpose, which is made possible by a three-part path, which we call Working The Future! Today:

  1. Purpose: Why?—your destiny.

  2. Place: Who?—your destination.

  3. Practice: How?—your journey.

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NEEDED: A New “Global Purpose System”

Introducing “WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY” + new “WTF! 2019 POCKET PAL”

A leadership void now threatens the lives and livelihood of millions of people and their employers, on a global scale. Co-authors Whitney Vosburgh and Charlie Grantham have risen to the occasion and offer a new “GPS” (Global Purpose System) that responds to this challenge. They share their strategic vision for creating sustainable change in their two new “WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY” books.

In response to the growing realization that the “Profit First” model of doing business (our old “GPS”) is rapidly becoming obsolete, the authors provide readers with a systemic approach to work and the art of doing business in the 21st century. “WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY: Finding your path to purpose, passion and profit” and the accompanying workbook, “WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY 2019 POCKET PAL: A faster path to purpose, passion and profit” (WTF! Press — January 2019) are now available as guides for this journey forward. The books’ co-authors draw on their decades of leadership experience in consulting, academia, and research in the fields of marketing, organizational design, and R&D. Vosburgh and Grantham argue that the people, organizations and systems that are “the ablest” — capable of changing in this ever-changing world — are the ones that will survive and thrive. In addition, the co-authors emphasize, they must lead with purpose and value.

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LOVING LEADERSHIP: More Heart, Less Head

Being Your Own Leader in a Leaderless Era

Earth Day, 2018: The great thinker and liberator Nelson Mandela challenges us by asking:

“Who are we, not to shine?”

So in this blog and those to follow, we’re introducing a new, better and more effective way to be a leader, whether you’re leading 1, 10, or 10 million people.

“Who are we, not to shine?”

This is one of the most important questions for all of us today.

Why?

• Because most of our current global leadership is heartless—and their heads don’t seem to work very well, either.

• Because people, organizations, and entire countries are stuck in systems of ego-driven, expired thinking, and action that is jeopardizing our survival.

• Because schools teach memorizing information instead of critical thinking.

• Because so-called spiritual leaders are trying to co-opt, control, and commodify the Earth and the great mystery of which we’re all a part.

This is happening right now, and it’s been going on for millennia.

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Leadership from 1984 to 2018: A Big Fat MESS! The way out?

Ignorance + Time = Extinction

The paradigm is the problem—a one-dimensional economic approach to human organization. Or put another way, the way we see the world, the beliefs we have about how it should operate, and the everyday things we do based on those beliefs doesn’t/don’t work to the benefit of a life affirming society.

Students of history—as opposed to herstory—can tell you that every couple thousand years or so of recorded history, along comes a new way of seeing things. A new set of beliefs that challenge the old. Well, it’s about that time.

Today we live in a world ruled by reptilian emotions, governed by medieval institutions, and driven by worship of the Technology God—supposed solver of all problems. Maybe, just maybe, we need a new Mohammed, a new Buddha, or even a new Jesus—and certainly a new, better definition and forward modeling of leadership.

Today we live in a world ruled by reptilian emotions, governed by medieval institutions, and driven by worship of the Technology God—supposed solver of all problems. The future bus is approaching. It is not going to turn around and go back to ‘making something great again’. That’s magical thinking as psychologists like to point out. You have a choice: Either take control of your future, or let it control you.

Want to find out how to get out of the MESS?

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PUTTING WELLNESS TO WORK

How do you turn what was a nice-to-have into a now must-have, competitive edge?

CAUSE: Wellness > EFFECT: Well-being

“Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” ~ The World Health Organization

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life at work and home. Wellness is much more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of positive change and growth.

The Future of Working Wellness, Today

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness, increase resilience, and ensure positive interactions.

We have a central mantra:

You either drive your future bus or you’ll get run over by it. It’s your choice.

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CYBER THREATS: ROBOJOBS + FUTURE OF WORK/PLACES

One of the major trends, which blends demographic changes with technology advances, is the onward march towards greater automation in our economy. That’s a fancy way of saying, “The robots are coming”. And they are not just that warm, fuzzy image we have of R2D2.

If you step back and look at the deeper picture this trend is really about the replacement of human labor in all kinds of activities from manufacturing to housekeeping. What started in the late 1970’s as ‘office automation’ is now starting to reach massive proportions. This is one of those high probability, high impact trends.

The question is: how will your community respond so it can remain a healthy, vibrant, and agile place to live and work?

So, How Big is This Trend?

Depends on whom you ask. There are a number of reliable sources, but all estimates are based on assumptions of progress on the technology side. The Institute for the Future thinks that any job that pays in the $20–30,000 range is subject to robotization.

We think a reasonable estimate would be 30% of the current US workforce could be replaced by these technologies. And that is not just factory workers as we usually think. It extends into the ‘back office’, the analysts desk, and anything that meets our definition stated above. Admittedly, the tactical economics of this replacement technology are still being debated but we are early on (say a five year window).

So to sum up, the scope of this labor market evolution, hear is a quote from the staid, old line Harvard Business Review:

“Left behind may be as many as 40 million citizens of no economic value in the U.S. alone. The dislocations will be profound.”
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Brand New PurposeComment
SEISMIC SHIFT: How to go from Old to New Economy?

How to go from Old to New Economy?—Field case studies.

SHIFT HAPPENS:

“Everything is always changing. Everything is connected to everything else. Pay attention” ~ Jane Hirshfield

The reason why this shift from an OLD Story to a NEW Story has seemingly caught so many people off guard is summed up by this Zen quote. Quite simply, most people alive on the planet today have been educated, socialized, and indoctrinated to deny the nature of constant change. We exist without realizing our fundamental connection to everyone and everything. Finally, our busy, noisy, confusing world does not reward paying attention to the here and now. Most live in the nostalgia of days gone by and some others in a fearful fancy of a cloudy future (rehashing and rehearsing). Waking up to what actually is can be a scary thing.

Backstory

Humankind finds itself at a fundamental evolutionary change point. We stand at the edge of a chasm of social change greater than what we have seen in the agricultural, industrial, and technology revolutions. Human society has been constantly evolving and changing: we moved from an oral culture to a print culture to one of mass communication. Now, we are moving into a digital culture.

We are entering a chasm of chaos and confusion. Trust in our social institutions is at an all-time low and anxiety at an all-time high.

The good news is that if you are aware of what’s coming, you can be prepared, and that preparation can mitigate adverse impacts.

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