Philip Sheldrake

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Tag: social business mutuality stack

Workfront and the future of work

 

I'm in Orlando Florida this week with the Workfront team and their partners and customers for their annual Leap conference. It's my privilege to participate in a panel session on the future of work, and to deliver a session with the more grounded title – making work suck less!

As you can see from the stack here, the first too common affront I identify and tackle is what I generally call the 'X steps to heaven' crowd. Those authors and companies proffering clickbait that teases with some relatively short sequence of steps needed to take you from zero to hero – in this context, going from a dysfunctional to awesome organization.

Bullshit. Life is complex and society is complex and all organization is complex, and authors of this sort of crap are either ignorant at best or disingenuous at worst. Complexity is a natural product that cannot be simplified – we can only aspire in this digital age to navigate it more simply.

I then go on to identify the lessons we might learn from Mother Nature, the necessity to sustain mutual value for all stakeholders, and some of the hazards we must avoid along the way, not least corporate surveillance.

Last night we were at the Magic Kingdom, and this evening we're dining at Epcot. Who said work has to suck?! :-)

Thanks for having me Workfront.

The social business mutuality stack

Sun horizon

Can you tell by looking at a photo like this if it's of a sunrise or a sunset? Absent knowledge of the time of day or the direction in which it was taken, I think not. Just as well I'm talking about both a start and a finish here then.

Sun-setting

First, the crap that's finishing – that would be public relations as spin. That would be lying, or inauthentic manipulation at best. That would be attempting to build and maintain a façade in the vain hope that customers, employees, investors and partners, present and future, confuse the façade for the real thing. As the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not so many for so long now that everyone packs a smartphone.

Enough has been written on this topic for me to hope that you'll agree, or at least concur the trend is well established. As one of my characters in Attenzi points out:

If ‘perception is reality’ was the saying that characterized our approach to marketing and public relations before, we now have to consider that reality is perception.

Sun-rising

When I first learned of the excellence theory of public relations I was immediately attracted to it. What's not to like? It's constructed on the basis that we use communication to negotiate with the public, resolve conflict and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organisation and its stakeholders. It describes a management function focused on this two-way communication to foster mutually beneficial relationships. Read more