The (R)evolution of Work

(R)evolutie van werk by Bas van de Haterd

 

Today, I would like to make my first book review on this blog. I am not planning on doing a lot of reviews, but after reading this book I believe it deserves to be mentioned here. It is the book (R)evolutie van Werk by Bas van der Haterd, which has an official English trailer you can watch below. So why do I want to write a small blog on this book? Because I think if you are interested in (technological) trends and how these influence the world of organizations, you should read it!

A clear story

I want to start by saying that he explains everything very clearly. Not only in the way he writes, but also the way the book is set up. Each chapter is preceded by a paragraph which explains the goal of the chapter, followed by a summary of the chapter that follows. This way you can quickly scan and understand the contents of the book, and read the entire chapter if you want to go more in depth. I find this way of writing/reading very nice, and it fits the new way people gather information.

Once you start reading the book, Bas van der Haterd gives a quick overview on the history of organizations, and in what way they changed because of inventions in the past. This shows the reader that the revolutions (of work) of the past were all triggered by new possibilities. He then proceeds by summing up a few trends and new possibilities which will influence the way we work now. He writes about things like 3D printers and what they will mean for both consumers and companies. But he also mentions the way social media impacts the way companies communicate with their customers, and consumers uniting to write reviews on service levels of organizations. He then proceeds by linking these trends and predicts the way they will affect organizations. Now, he doesn’t prove these predictions in a scientific way, but he tries to convince the reader by showing examples of this revolution right now.

A point of critique

Now, I don’t agree with every prediction or every part of the revolution he mentions in this book. For one, I don’t think every organization will consist of flexible contracts. Even if both employers and employees want a more flexible way of contracts, the government won’t keep up with the changes, and some unions might block them all together. Nor will the complete flexible way of project organizations work for every type of company. Another thing I don’t agree with is the statement that we have seen the end of big companies. In my opinion there will still be room for big companies in certain industries due to scaling and profit margins. However, I do believe he is right about the new and immense possibilities smaller companies have now.

Concluding

There is more that I don’t agree with, but that is not important because it is not why I chose to write about the book. Even the writer doesn’t claim to know it all, nor does he claim everything will go as he predicts. However, he does explain the trends very clearly and challenges the reader to think about the consequences for the way we work right now. This writer succeeded in challenging me and my views. That is why I think anyone in HR can benefit from reading this book, challenging their own ideas on the future of organizations.