Esko Kilpi photo

Rethinking skills and responsibility

The industrial make-and-sell model required explicit skills as we still know them. The decisive thing was your individual knowledge and individual education. Today, in the new economic spaces you work more from your relations than your skills. The decisive thing is your network. Work is interaction.

We have so far followed a very crude pyramid-like classification in work: skilled work was what highly educated individuals would do. Semi-skilled work was possible for trained people. Unspecified labor was what almost everybody could do after onboarding. This classification of work led to the unintended consequence that the most economical design of mass-era organizations reduces the amount of skilled work and increases the amount of less-skilled work, thus reducing costs. A bigger problem than low-skilled people is the low-skilled occupations we have created.

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again. -André Gide

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