Recommended reading for the modern workplace: Reinventing Jobs
May 9, 2022 1:12:35 AM
I’ve been an avid reader of the latest thinking on artificial intelligence and its application in the workplace, but with so much information available online for the process automation enthusiast I sometimes wonder if we’re overlooking the traditional book format.
There are a couple of reasons why this might be the case. Firstly, there’s a risk that a book could become outdated too quickly to be of much use; secondly, when we’re not at work we might like to take a bit of time off from our favorite subject!
As it happens, I find selective reading around the subject both enlightening and entertaining. My criteria are that a book should have sufficient academic grounding and gravitas to provide a robust source of information and theory, but that it should also be easy to read. So, I choose books that challenge accepted thinking (and my own) in an accessible form.
With this in mind I thought it would be useful to start an occasional series of blogs about books I’ve read or am reading now, and that I’d recommend dipping into. I’ll kick off with one of my favorite recent reads.
Reinventing Jobs, A 4-Step Approach for Applying Automation to Jobs
By Ravin Jesuthasan, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson and John Boudreau, Research Director for USC’s Center for Effective Organizations and Professor of Management and Organization at Marshall School of Business (Harvard Business Review Press 2018).
Who should read it and why?
I’d recommend this book for C-level executives who want to take a proactive role in guiding change.
The authors propose a four-step process toward automation. Their premise is that automation calls for a re-examination of what a ‘job’ is, to determine variations of tasks that can be reconstructed into new and different combinations. The authors also show how smart leaders are optimizing human-automation combinations in ways that are not only more efficient but that can generate higher returns on improved performance.
What I like about it
This book gives a useful outlook from a from a human capital management perspective. Having a process and mechanical background myself, it’s always useful to have insight from another viewpoint, although I had to smile a bit because automating jobs isn’t really that new; it’s been happening in all areas of industry for 100 years or more.
Why is it relevant for NUDGEIT and/or Nibo?
Our automation proposition doesn’t just consist of the Nibo SaaS product. There’s also a strong consultancy element. This book contains a good deal of meaty automation knowhow, which we’ve been able to take on board to help guide and structure our consulting approach.
Find out more
Reinventing Jobs is widely available, but if you’re interested I suggest starting with this website: https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-US/insights/2018/08/future-of-work-reinventing-jobs. It contains a brief overview of the book and some useful infographics on deconstructing roles and automating work as a teaser.