Work Without Jobs | MIT Sloan Management Review

Workforce Planning

The coronavirus pandemic impacts have accelerated the evolution of work, the workplace, and workers in every possible way. As firms continue to address these opportunities and challenges with speed and head-on, this article calls for a change in how we view work and, in particular, jobs. It submits that jobs–the staple of many HR processes and systems– should give way to deconstructed tasks. Said differently, firms can benefit from decomposing or unpacking job/roles into specific tasks and using them (not job descriptions) as the basis of work. By applying this concept of deconstruction, firms can better match “melted” jobs (tasks or projects) with melted job holders (skills and capabilities) with greater agility. The article offers four principles for this new view of work, ranging from 1) Start with the work (current and future tasks) and not the existing jobs, to 4) Allow talent to “flow to work” versus being dedicated to fixed, permanent jobs. As a bonus resource, here is a direct link to a one-hour fireside chat with Dr. John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan (the authors of the article), where they further discuss the topic.

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