A possible Vision for Scan Agile 2016: Work 3.0

As I’m writing this blog post, in the balcony of my apartment, enjoying the mild Finnish end of Summer (it is not snowing… yet), I am forced to acknowledge how the world of work has changed.

It is not that far ago that we lived under a Feudal system, where the notion of fairness was dictated by those that had the power, mostly aristocratic power, then commerce power, and later capitalist power afer the dawn of the industrial revolution.

Finland, and Helsinki in particular are a vivid reminder of how those powers worked. Sweden “owned” Finland, then Russia “won” Finland, then the Finns claimed it back with (probably) the only beautiful nationalist movement, one that was firmly rooted in culture (hello Kalevala!) and freedom (Finns were the first European country to give women the right to vote).

The world of work has changed, and we must start to innovate in the forms of work, which in practice means we need to innovate in:

  • How work is organized: new forms of management, and new practices of management. This we could loosely call “Management 3.0
  • How we, as creative, knowledge workers develop our knowledge and our careers. This we could call “Learning 3.0
  • New forms of “the firm” or new forms of organized production, where the capitalist concept of the firm is but one possible organization, but we have many more. Like freelancing, job marketplaces like oDesk, volunteer organizations, Halocracy, Liquid organizations, etc. This we could call: “Enterprise 3.0” (including: Radical Management, Networked or Social Organizations, Holacracy, Liquid Organizations.)

All of these together are what I propose to call “Work 3.0”. Work is not just a routine, labour, or activity. Work is a philosophy of life. Like my friend Jurgen Appelo says: we should not balance life and work, we must integrate the two.

So this is my vision for Scan Agile 2016: Innovate how work works, define (or start defining) Work 3.0.

I see many possible topics that we could cover, but this is where you come in. What do you think Work 3.0 should stand for? What should we focus on? What questions should we debate? What models should we explore? Below is a list of possible topics for the conference, leave yours in the comments!

  • Modern project organizations: Organizations that recognize the advances in how people collaborate, how we work together in distributed environments, how we coordinate our work. I can see models like Halocracy, Liquid Organizations, Management 3.0, Esko Kilpi’s networked organizations, #NoProjects, etc. in this topic. What would you like to discuss?
  • Innovation focused technical practices: In a world that is changing rapidly we must constantly seek to innovate in how the technical work happens. In this topic I can see items like: technical practices that spark and support innovation like Programming practices (TDD, XP, etc.), Testing practices (Exploratory testing, User testing approaches, hypothesis driven development, etc.), Management practices (Lean, Scrum, XP, etc.), Product development practices (Lean Startup, Lean UX, etc.)
  • Philosophy of work: This is a new area. We don’t often talk about what work is about, why it exists, and how it can contribute to both individual’s and society’s well being. But if we seek to create sustainable firms, then we must recognize that firms are merely work-organization devices that (at best) produce value for all stakeholders. In this topic I can see things such as: Systems thinking and Complexity (Systems Thinking, Lean, Cynefin, Networked organizations, Future of the firm, etc.)

These are just 3 topics that we could focus on for the call for sessions. What would you like to see? Now it is your turn to start building Scan Agile 2016, the most innovative and forward looking conference in 2016! 🙂

PS: if you write a post about this topic, please ping me on twitter (@duarte_vasco) and I’ll link to it from this post!

2 thoughts on “A possible Vision for Scan Agile 2016: Work 3.0

  1. I Like the Work 3.0 theme a lot. I believe there is a lot of potential in all three topics.

    ‘Philosophy of work’ seems to be an increasingly hot topic right now. It provides a different way of looking at the relation between people and organizations. It questions many of the assumpions and habits that we used to take for granted.
    In Finland, the discussion is growing wider every day, as the need for change is imminent and there clearly are quite some implications on the community and government level as well.

    As far as I know, there has not yet been any large scale events in or even near Finland on this topic, therefore I believe there would be a demand for it. Personally I would be excited to see this topic on Scan Agile 2016.
    – Daniel

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