March 30, 2021
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What problem are you solving for people? As a small business, if you haven’t identified a common problem and implemented a solution for it, then you’re out of business. But, when disruption happens which seems to be occurring with regularity, you want someone to make sense of it. 

Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work by Jeff Schwartz with Suzanne Riss and featuring illustrations by Tom Fishburne will help you find your place in a post pandemic landscape.

Work Disrupted is a Library in a Book

I have to admit that I wasn’t overly impressed with this book when I first received it from the publisher. At first glance, it looks like it’s simply rehashing information that you might already know. Do you really need a book to tell you that your life and your business have repeatedly been turned upside down?  Do you really need another book telling you that the core of how you do business is no longer good enough?

Perhaps you don’t need another book to tell you these things.  But you do need a book to help you make sense of all this disruption. 

You do need a book to point out the critical few trends that deserve your attention. And you need a book to help you put everything back together after the tornado of a year you’ve just lived through.

Work Disrupted is an easy-to-read book that will help you set new goals and new priorities for your business.

This is a relatively short book that’s long on research and resources with more than twenty pages dedicated to the bibliography. And, it’s the bibliography that sparked my new found respect for this book. 

Disruptions That are Part of Your Future

If you find yourself tossed about at the whims of the current pandemic disruption, grab onto something and let’s take a look at what the authors of Work Disrupted see as the top disruptors and opportunities for your business.

The first part of the book eases you into making sense of the disruption of day-to-day work as we’ve known it.

The second part is dedicated to building resilience and re-imagining everything from leadership to organizations to careers.

And the third and final part of the book helps you to create something new and enduring with the understanding that there’s a good chance you’ll end up doing this all over again. 

Here’s a quick summary of the big ideas covered in Work Disrupted.

  • Artificial intelligence is here to stay. Your best bet is to see what opportunities your business can take advantage of to incorporate artificial intelligence to help you analyze buckets of data so that you can make better decisions. 
  • Flexible work arrangements. Even when things open up, many businesses will continue to embrace flexible work arrangements; working from home, freelance as well as in-house.
  • Build on experiences.  Experience is sexy.  That means degrees aren’t always required for every position.  If you’re a business owner, look for experiences and if you’re a job seeker, focus on expanding your experiences in areas that businesses find valuable. 

Making Sense of Disruption is a Team Effort

There are three smart people behind this power-packed book; Jeff Schwartz, a founding partner of Deloitte Consulting’s US Future of Work Practice, and the global editor of the Global Human Capital Trends report. 

Suzanne Riss is a magazine editor and author.  She has been telling stories for more than 20 years as a daily reporter. She’s been the editor-in-chief of Working Mother and has extensive expertise in work/life trends. 

Tom Fishburn Illustration from Work Disrupted

You might be familiar with popular illustrator, Tom Fishburne.  His popular Marketoonist series has grown by word of mouth and reaches more than one hundred thousand marketers every week.  I should know because I’m one of them. 

Work Disrupted Will Help You Set Priorities

As I turned the last page of Work Disrupted I felt a sense of calm.  There was comfort in having Shwartz’s research confirm what I was seeing and experiencing with my own eyes. Tom Fishburne’s illustrations highlighted the sometimes absurd nature of being a human being in today’s world of work. And, Suzanne Riss’ storytelling served as the bread-crumb trail that guided me toward a more level-headed look at the year ahead.

No.  You won’t see anything Earth-shattering as you read Work Disrupted.  What you’ll gain as a result is a sense of focus, confirmation and perhaps a few new ideas bubbling to the surface that will help you create your business out of the ashes of this disruption and fire-proof your business before the next one.

Image: Amazon

This article, “Work Disrupted Will Help You Make Sense of a Post Pandemic World of Work” was first published on Small Business Trends