Work is interaction between interdependent people.
The economic counterpart of friction in mechanical systems is transaction costs. Automobile brakes slow a vehicle by converting kinetic energy into heat. In organizations, friction turns human energy into management pay.
The future of work has to be based on willing participation by all parties, and the ability of all parties to protect their interests by contractual means.
In an economy, people essentially produce goods and services for people. Companies are theoretically intermediary organizational forms that arrange the development, production, and delivery processes. The digital world we live in today allows us to imagine and experiment with totally new value creation architectures.
Perhaps it is time to change the focus from creating jobs to creating customers — in new, innovative and interactive ways.
We should not talk any more about the employer-employee relationship, when talking about knowledge work. Instead, it is an investment-investor relationship.
When the architecture of work is the network, dramatic changes are possible. It is already happening in games. The firm of the future may be ten million people working together for ten minutes.
The industrial make-and-sell model required expert skills. The decisive thing was your individual knowledge. Today you work more from your network than your skills. The decisive thing is your relations.
The central aggregator of enterprise value will no longer be a value chain. Instead, the Internet is a more viable model for making sense of the value-creating constellations of tomorrow.
Quoting Max Planck:
If you change the way you look at things, the things that you look at change.
Esko Kilpi explores an intellectual foundation for post-industrial work at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund in Helsinki. He also shares his time with the Adianta School for Leadership and Innovation in New Delhi and his own ensemble. Esko Kilpi Company consists of a group of researchers and strategists. The focus of the group is on combining the art of interaction, the sciences of social complexity, and the design of digitally native practices. Their theoretical framework comes from sociology, relational psychology, network theory, computer science, cognitive neuroscience, and sciences of complexity. What we all want is to help create a human-centric future of work.
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