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Adapting Our Systems and Ourselves for a Reset at Work

May 22, 2020



Adapting Our Systems and Ourselves for a Reset at Work

Adapting Our Systems and Ourselves for a Reset at Work

Global disruption has created the opportunity for a Great Reset. Gary A. Bolles, Chair for the Future of Work at Singularity University and Co-Founder of, believes we can redesign our business systems to be optimized to help people learn needed and evolving skill sets and develop agency. For individuals, he explains the new rules of work require constant self-inventory, experimenting to match skills, needs, and interests, and the benefits of identifying a personal Northstar.


[03:18] The Future of Work is an evolution to a digital work economy.

[03:55] The impact of automation is supposed to both increase human’s capacity to create things and solve problems, but it also impacts human work.

[04:33] Automation is channeling human energies to be able to solve problems in completely new ways

[06:14] Disruptive technologies change the way that industries function and then the roles of workers in those industries.

[07:17] The internet evaporates the middle.

[08:19] There's two things that are different now, the pace of change and the spread of change.

[09:22] Every individual needs four skills-- P.A.C.E: to be Problem solvers who are Adaptive, Creative, and with Empathy—to help create agency.

[13:43] The least advantaged are the ones that are the most disadvantaged in terms of- of being remote.

[14:51] We can try to design the things that we want to have happen, but nobody can actually predict really what the next 12, 18 months is going to hold.

[16:02] The more command-and-control, the more highly-structured organizations were the least adaptable.

[16:22] The organizations the pushed decision-making down to the team level have done the best.

[18:48] Organizations that really understand their purpose are going to be the best prepared for tomorrow.

[20:18] The great reset involves a changing landscape of rules and norms.

[20:44] What are the rules across the ecosystem?

[21:16] What is the best way to create value for my customers?

[21:51] The constantly changing landscape means that we all have to have much better sensor network and be continually adaptive.

[23:03] The landscape of the future of work distilled down into four domains: individuals, organizations, communities, and countries.

[25:08] Creating incentives to ensure people remain employed

[26:22] Why we need systems that are optimized to help people find meaningful work.

[26:56] Why we need to help people have P.A.C.E. and agency.

[27:47] It will require massive investments in helping humans gather the new information and learn the basic digital toolkit

[28:45] The largest game of employment musical chairs in the history of the world.

[29:16] What are the roles of government and the private sector in making necessary changes?

[30:17] It's critical is to have the tool set--understand your own unique skills and interests, and experiences—and have your own agency.

[31:15] Schools must think of themselves as lifelong learning platforms.

[32:07] Industries must send stronger signals about what they're hiring for now.

[32:42] If you're not training the workers of tomorrow, we will simply not have the workforce that we need.

[33:40] You can impact the system, if you hire somebody with a non-standard background

[37:55] if there's one major takeaway to have empathy for so many others that are going through this process

[39:06] With the new rules of work, you- you have to do constant self-inventory.

[39:20] Keep on experimenting and trying different techniques--you've got to go find or create that work.

[40:12] Most important for people is to have a Northstar--a directional goal that you are working towards.

[42:49] IMMEDIATE TIP ACTION: The three key characteristics of leadership now are Competence, Compassion, and Courage.


“The internet evaporates the middle.”

“We all need to be problem solvers who are adaptive, creative and with empathy.”

"Teams are going to be much more problem centric”

“We don't have a healthcare system, we have a sick care system…We don't have an employment system. We have an unemployment system.”

“One thing we can predict is that the market asymmetry is going to be biblical.”

“Schools must think of themselves as lifelong learning platforms.”

“If you're not training the workers of tomorrow…we will simply not have the workforce that we need.”

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