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It’s NOT All About Jobs Jobs Jobs. The National Debate Is Wrong:
It’s About Work! At Least That’s What It  Should Be   About.
Some gratuitous thoughts by  Doug Poretz , August 2011 The Difference Is Significant. And, it’s getting more significant e...
Let’s start with a brief look at the history of jobs.
This guy didn’t have a job. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t  work  to be able to survive.
Think this farmer thought he had a “job” or that he was just doing the work he had to do?
Actually, two things had to happen for jobs to exist.
First, work had to move indoors to a fixed location. Or The Factory. The Office.
Second, there had to be a new, reliable measurement of productivity. Time Became Money.
So, people started to go to a specific place to do their work on a specific schedule. They went to jobs.
Now think about it:
In the Knowledge Economy: Do people really have to go to a fixed location to do their work anymore?
And does it really matter when they do their work or how much time they take to do it?
So, let’s get this straight:
As the Knowledge Economy continues to grow,  the two things that gave rise to jobs in the first place: A fixed location  a...
So … if the defining factors of “jobs” are becoming less relevant …
…  maybe we should worry just a little less about jobs and a little more about work.
Let’s try an exercise in Common Sense:
In the Manufacturing Economy, when a company wanted to get something done, they would calculate how many people they neede...
And the work got done when all those people got together at the same place and time to do their jobs.
And as part of the deal, here is what the company got ... <ul><li>A full-time permanent employee who was strong in some, b...
What do you think is going to happen when companies can get a better deal
So,  instead of: <ul><li>A full-time permanent employee who was strong in some, but not all, areas …  they’d retain people...
What do you think is going to happen when companies can get a better deal?
As a matter of fact, a lot of people like working without having a job.
“ Perhaps the most significant finding from the 1999 data is that more workers in alternative employment arrangements are ...
So, a quick review: <ul><li>Work that needs to be done doesn’t necessarily have to done as a “job.” </li></ul><ul><li>This...
Then, instead of making Jobs Jobs Jobs the focus of the national debate, shouldn’t we be discussing the future of Work and...
Aren’t the politicians conducting the  wrong debate ? Would that surprise you?
Doug Poretz [email_address]
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It's not about jobs jobs jobs

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  • I'd take this thinking one step farther It's not jobs, nor even work that matters most: it's product. In other words, value and wealth flow from what gets done (and, perhaps vice-versa!). Maybe the focus should be on what can and should 'get done'; and, then, how can we maximize the number of folks doing it?
    All that said, IMHO your central point is nonetheless spot on: the ways and means by which we work together--or collaborate--is changing quickly!
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Transcript of "It's not about jobs jobs jobs "

  1. 1. It’s NOT All About Jobs Jobs Jobs. The National Debate Is Wrong:
  2. 2. It’s About Work! At Least That’s What It Should Be About.
  3. 3. Some gratuitous thoughts by Doug Poretz , August 2011 The Difference Is Significant. And, it’s getting more significant everyday.
  4. 4. Let’s start with a brief look at the history of jobs.
  5. 5. This guy didn’t have a job. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t work to be able to survive.
  6. 6. Think this farmer thought he had a “job” or that he was just doing the work he had to do?
  7. 7. Actually, two things had to happen for jobs to exist.
  8. 8. First, work had to move indoors to a fixed location. Or The Factory. The Office.
  9. 9. Second, there had to be a new, reliable measurement of productivity. Time Became Money.
  10. 10. So, people started to go to a specific place to do their work on a specific schedule. They went to jobs.
  11. 11. Now think about it:
  12. 12. In the Knowledge Economy: Do people really have to go to a fixed location to do their work anymore?
  13. 13. And does it really matter when they do their work or how much time they take to do it?
  14. 14. So, let’s get this straight:
  15. 15. As the Knowledge Economy continues to grow, the two things that gave rise to jobs in the first place: A fixed location and a fixed work schedule are both becoming irrelevant.
  16. 16. So … if the defining factors of “jobs” are becoming less relevant …
  17. 17. … maybe we should worry just a little less about jobs and a little more about work.
  18. 18. Let’s try an exercise in Common Sense:
  19. 19. In the Manufacturing Economy, when a company wanted to get something done, they would calculate how many people they needed to work on it, they’d create jobs for those people and go out and recruit them ...
  20. 20. And the work got done when all those people got together at the same place and time to do their jobs.
  21. 21. And as part of the deal, here is what the company got ... <ul><li>A full-time permanent employee who was strong in some, but not all, areas … </li></ul><ul><li>Who was paid a salary for holding the job, whether or not they were actually doing the work that had to be done … </li></ul><ul><li>And who also got paid benefits, even vacations … </li></ul><ul><li>And, very often, belonged to a group that forced the company to negotiate with all job-holders collectively. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What do you think is going to happen when companies can get a better deal
  23. 23. So, instead of: <ul><li>A full-time permanent employee who was strong in some, but not all, areas … they’d retain people with precisely the right capabilities as they needed them </li></ul><ul><li>Who was paid a salary for holding the job, whether or not they were actually doing the work that had to be done … they’d pay only for the work that needed to be done </li></ul><ul><li>And who also got paid benefits, even vacations … the company will let the individual worry about their own support system </li></ul><ul><li>And, very often, belonged to a group that forced the company to negotiate with all job-holders collectively … there is no </li></ul><ul><li> “ collection” so there is no collective bargaining. </li></ul>
  24. 24. What do you think is going to happen when companies can get a better deal?
  25. 25. As a matter of fact, a lot of people like working without having a job.
  26. 26. “ Perhaps the most significant finding from the 1999 data is that more workers in alternative employment arrangements are choosing these arrangements. Data on preference for the arrangements show that more workers actually prefer their alternative work arrangements to traditional jobs.” [ Italics by the author of the article] “ Characteristics of and preference for alternative work arrangements, 1999” Marisa DiNatale, Bureau of Labor Statistics economist, Monthly Labor Review, March 2001 That trend became clear in the 1990s:
  27. 27. So, a quick review: <ul><li>Work that needs to be done doesn’t necessarily have to done as a “job.” </li></ul><ul><li>This is especially true in the growing, global Knowledge Economy, where an alternative to a job can be preferential both for the company and the individual. </li></ul><ul><li>So, in the future it’s a good bet that more work will be done by people without jobs for companies with less employees. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Then, instead of making Jobs Jobs Jobs the focus of the national debate, shouldn’t we be discussing the future of Work and how to prepare for that future?
  29. 29. Aren’t the politicians conducting the wrong debate ? Would that surprise you?
  30. 30. Doug Poretz [email_address]
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