Saturday, July 16, 2011

We Are All Entrepreneurs Now

The Future of Work

~ Local entrepreneur T.A. McCann in a 2-minute video on "The Future of Work":

The future of work is one of no boundaries. Not on when we work, for whom, how long, with whom, or in what capacity. Success flows from passion: our best work is what we love, and we do it with our friends (who may also happen to be our business contacts) in one broad and fluid network of fast-moving, freely-associating individuals. Of course it also flows from regularly accomplishing goals, delivering on promises, and creating value.

The future of work is in being a free agent. Fewer and fewer are employees and more are contractors, temps, consultants, piece-workers. This will be very hard for many, as job security is less guaranteed than ever. What security one has comes entirely from effort, meeting obligations to others, and the constant re-invigoration of the network in which one operates. In this relentlessly anemic economic "recovery" people are increasingly forced to create their own jobs rather than to find them. This is an easy transition for us entrepreneurs as it is what we already do every day.

The future of work is in innovation, in being an innovator. It is one of the few sustainable competitive advantages we have as individual workers. For those with energy, intelligence, networking skills, passion and creativity the future of work looks pretty good. For them, work has always been fun, and rewarding. America has always been a good place for entrepreneurs.

The future of work is terrifying for others. For those missing too many of those attributes, the future looks pretty scary. For many, the present probably is already plenty frightening. How can we help those people? How will our communities change if we don't?

Update: I forgot to include Geoffrey Moore's thoughts on the future of work.

I'm T.A. McCann, and I'm an entrepreneur.

"The future of business is going to be people interacting in more than just one job. That line is very blurry between what's my work and what's my help and what's my community sort of involvement.

Do you work 9 to 5? Absolutely not. Are you working all the time? Absolutely not. The blend of when am I working and when am I playing and when am I socializing—that's all gone. There is no line between those things.

The new work style is never retiring, because if you're working on what you want to work on, why would you ever want to retire? So, I think another aspect of the future of work is that people will move in between jobs at a much more rapid rate. They'll move in and deliver their best effort and then they'll move on to the next thing where they can deliver their best effort. And that will happen in a faster and faster and faster rate. As opposed to people working at the same company for 30 years, working in the same job for 30 years, working with the same people for 30 years. It's just not the future of work.

Part of the new work style is the fact that the ability for you to create connections with people that you don't otherwise know exist much more now than it ever has. And the tools to discover other people and discover people and what they're all about exist now more than they ever have. Finding people that you share some common goal or some common outcome or some way that you want to work on something together, whether that's helping them or them helping you or both. That's... that's interesting, that's connecting, that's creating a relationship, that's the part that's exciting.

So the future of work is always learning. The future of work is always trying to do something for someone else not do something for yourself. That leads to relationships and that leads to more opportunities.

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