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Work ecologist. Founder, Work Futures. The ecology of work and the anthropology of the future.

On Work Futures

Minimum Viable Office Is getting people back in the office just a boomer power play?

Minimal Viable Processes Most processes are built to hit the brakes, not the accelerator.

Yes, Your Boss Is A Psychopath 4% or more of senior executives are stone cold psychopaths. Watch your back.

Emergent Culture and Minimum Viable Management A less-is-more approach to leadership.

The Federal Government Is Embracing Telework Coming guidelines are expected to make pandemic policies permanent.

Bets, Not Projects An insight that jumped out of a write-up on A Modern Approach to Strategic Planning by the folks at Nobl.


Most processes are built to hit the brakes…


Where I do all my real writing these days…

Recently posted:

The Ideal Worker Is All Work, All The Time

Is ‘Love Your Work’ Just Propaganda?

You may be among the many who have found themselves working longer hours during the pandemic than before. In fact, those working from home in the US increased their workday by 40%, about 3 hours a day. This is a reflection of the culmination of the protestant ethic, the ‘ideal worker’ who makes their job the center of their life, and is available every waking minute.

Here is a definition by Eric Reid and Lakshmi Ramajaran,

To be ideal workers, people must choose…


And Basecamp has just slipped into Autocracy

Ignore the smile.

The philospher Elizabeth Anderson is responsible for the concept that businesses run as ‘private governments’, lacking democratic principles that we expect in our ‘public governments’, made up of people we elect to office and the laws and policies we enact through them. In her book, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It), Anderson explains how we have conserved pre-democratic governance within the business as a holdover from preindustrial practice. As the publisher wrote about her book,

One in four American workers says their workplace is a “dictatorship.” Yet that number probably would be…


| Slack Steps In It | Staffbase Raises $145M | Airtable Valued at $5.7B | Box on the Block | CoScreen Launches |

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Photo by Stephen Phillips — Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

In Slack is becoming a full messaging app, David Pierce breathlessly wrote about Slack’s allowing direct messaging across the ecosystem of users:

It’s [texting] the highest, most elusive rung of the business communication ladder, and it’s exactly what Slack wants to replace.

[…]

Connect DMs mean that, in theory, Slack can be the only place most employees talk about work. If that happens, it creates a powerful growth engine for the platform, because using Slack no longer requires any kind of organizational buy-in. A freelance designer might use Slack to talk to all their clients, or a salesperson at…


How is the beta test proceeding?

In November 2020, I wrote about the early beta for Dropbox Spaces in First Look | The New Dropbox Spaces, where I did not have access to the beta but just descriptive materials that Dropbox provided. I was limited to an earlier take on Spaces, which was more or less what Dropbox folders have now become: a collection of files with an optional description area at the top.

the Old Spaces is the New Folder

As I wrote at the time

This version of Dropbox Spaces does not seem like an evolution of the earlier Dropbox Spaces. It’s a radical break.

The New Dropbox Spaces

Some minor changes confused me before…


| LinkedIn Marketplaces | Virtual Events Are Hot: Hopin and Hubilo | Asynch Video: Weet | Microsoft Viva |

Photo by Philipp Berndt on Unsplash

Quote of the Moment

It is a huge misunderstanding that the only alternative to planning is aimless messing around. The challenge is to structure one’s workflow in a way that insight and new ideas can become the driving forces that push us forward.

| Sönke Ahrens

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Linkedin Marketplaces

Microsoft’s New Gig: A LinkedIn Freelancer Market Rivaling Upwork, Fiverr | Amir Efrati looks into Microsoft’s plans for LinkedIn, which extend far beyond a business social network focused on finding jobs. How about a freelancer platform?

LinkedIn is developing a new service called Marketplaces to let its 740 million users find and book freelancers, pitting it against…


The pandemic is leading people away from endless video meetings

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

I came upon Complish a few months ago and thought I might fool with it before writing it up. However, my time is so limited these days I haven’t had a chance. But I want to draw attention to the founders’ motivation to building a content-centric, asynchronous work management tool:

The first reaction to transitioning to distributed teams is usually to start scheduling more video calls to stay aligned. This works for the first few weeks, but ends up being disruptive, blocking focus and real work. What if we could keep everyone updated on our own time, without interrupting anyone…


You might consider reframing these ideas around 'outcomes' rather than 'output', since most of the work you would be supporting with Typed is post-industrial knowledge work. You might also want to contrast your approach with content-centric solutions like Notion, Dropbox Paper, and Roam Research.

Stowe Boyd

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