The digitization of the workforce—and the powerful economics of automation will require a sweeping rethink of organizational structures, influence, and control. Today’s leading organizations must integrate the contrasting elements of stability and speed to create a more functional, modern whole.
Most of the organizational ideas of the last half-century or more have taken for granted the underlying building blocks of jobs and the way people work, both individually and together.
Automation can devastate these assumptions by disaggregating jobs into their component tasks and subtasks and then hiving off those that can be automated. It will force companies to figure out how to reassemble the remaining tasks into something that makes a new kind of sense, even as it reconceptualizes the very idea of what a job is.
Once roles and tasks are sorted out, the newly constructed jobs that result must be reaggregated into some greater whole, or “box,” on the org chart. Those boxes then need a new relation to each other. Will the destabilization of jobs prove powerfully liberating to organizations, making them far more agile, healthy, and high performing?
QUESTION: Will it initiate a collapse into internal dysfunction as people try to figure out what their jobs are, who is doing what, and where and why?