Soloist in hiding

Ultimately, the modern workplace fears soloists. They have good reason to fear them. The soloist has power. Like in a music concert, if the soloist can’t show up, the show can not go on with just the accompanists. If the soloist fails, there is nothing the accompanist can do to save the show.

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Detox from work

A sabbatical is a legitimate option for career training. This is the only time a person can learn how to fill in unstructured time. Doing so develops skills in how to create jobs where none were defined before. The key element of extended absences is the completely unstructured time. Things that do need to be done can take much longer than normally would be allowed in a work setting.

Gatekeeping the ability to sign ones name

The pandemic situation is turning our personal lives into corporate ones. To enter into personal contracts, we have to become like a miniature version of a corporation. To be able to sign anything, we need to maintain a good subscription relationship with the providers of the tools that make the signature possible, even if we want a contract for someone to walk our dog.

Ghost economy

The current practice of ghost flights by airlines is a great analogy to what needs to happen in the workforce.   To protect the nation from large numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, we could remove the people from their positions when they are over 50 or have one of the identified preexisting conditions.   Eventually (hopefully), the crisis will abate where we can allow these people to return to their original roles. 

Assigning names to personality traits

One of the advantages of machine intelligence over human intelligence is that machines are not driven toward poetry.   To me, poetry captures the scientific appreciation for the simplest explanations with the fewest number of terms.   Humans are innately poets by nature, and even the objectivity of science can not escape the human delight in well-crafted poetry, or human disdain for inelegance in descriptions. 

Learned diversity builds great teams

What matters is the diversity of personal experiences of the individual team members, not the experiences of the broader populations represented by that individual team member. Even if the social-group experiences were relevant, the individual will have access to only a tiny fraction of the experiences we expect him to represent. The genome itself is not a communication channel for sharing intelligence among living humans.

Similar operations of agile teams and machine learning: man imitating machine

Following the lessons from computer neural networks, we should recognize that intelligence in an organizational neural network arises within the network itself. It does not dependent on hierarchical decision makers. Neural-network organizations have no need for individually accountable human decision makers such as managers or officers. Such an outcome is consistent with the goals of evidence-based decision making that ideally obligate decisions based on the evidence alone and not on whim of a designated leader.

Disrupt management by using firing managers instead of hiring managers

Except in Donald Trumps reality TV shows, most managers do not have the luxury of immediately declaring “you’re fired”, and certainly not in that short of a period of time. Again, I trust the instinct is correct and that no amount of coddling will obtain the desired performance. However, we work within an idealistic human resources department that demands a drawn out process that reserves a firing event only for overtly criminal behavior. We are usually stuck with our hiring decisions because our job is to be a hiring manager and a hiring manager’s job is to select the idealized competent candidate for the job opening.