Skip to content

Courageous Conversation video: We really need to talk about the future of work

Added to your CPD log

View or edit this activity in your CPD log.

Go to My CPD
Only APM members have access to CPD features Become a member Already added to CPD log

View or edit this activity in your CPD log.

Go to My CPD
Added to your Saved Content Go to my Saved Content

The world of work is going through the most dramatic change since the Industrial Revolution, but our working practices are slow to change. What does the future of work look like? What does it mean for project management?

These are just a few of the questions discussed at a Knowledge SIG Courageous Conversation with Peter Thomson in November 2015. A Courageous Conversation is a small meeting to discuss a topic that is misunderstood, controversial, or doesn’t usually get aired. This video is a 10 minute whiteboard animation that encapsulates the views expressed at the meeting using words, metaphor and pictures.

Watch the video to find out what other questions and ideas were discussed. Tell us what you think and share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments. Where do you think the future of organisations lies? Will we all be working on projects? Does the video describe the future of work, or are we there already?


Judy Payne
Knowledge SIG Chair


Join the conversation!

Log in to post a comment, or create an account if you don't have one already.

  1. Martin Fisher
    Martin Fisher 27 May 2016, 10:10 AM

    ... that this is really well done & thought provoking.I like to think of myself as someone with at least one foot in the Future camp and have certainly worked within more progressive environments where many traditional structures were seen as non-value-adding limitations and were done away with.So, lots of home working and very flexible approaches to IT for example, and a generally less explicit attitude to of employees, no micro-management, more trust ... and I have to say that the results were very empowering and productive!It's easy to dismiss some of the notions & wishes expressed here as naive - as the narrative itself acknowledges - but having tasted some of the benefits of Future work (several years ago now!) I can balance this with a conviction that the general direction of this movement is positive.Of course, a lot of this Future working feels risky & that's what's scary about it. Inputs are easier to control than outputs, so that’s where to put the pressure … but isn’t what happens in-between them more important?!The more infrastructure, money and - I guess in many cases - personal power that are at stake, then the greater is the level of inertia within organisations and there's less readiness to try a change.  That particularly is why bigger, older, and perhaps especially publicly-funded organisations are among the slowest to take the Future on in this way, even though they might be well placed to take some small 'pilot' risks.Is that fair to say?All of this chimes with a lot of what Euan Semple writes about, and also with the next APM #KnowledgeSIG event on Collaboration, co-operation and competition – project environments 'through a knowledge lens'.   What can convince and give organisations the confidence to change?  Examples of where the Future is already working and why - What else?Thanks and well done again on the film.Martin

  2. Andrew Wall
    Andrew Wall 21 May 2016, 02:37 PM

    I always love these courageous conversations videos. They always pack so much thought provoking material into a 10 minute watch.This ones no exception and poses some interesting questions based on changing neeeds and changing behaviours. I guess my only challange is do we need to "talk" about it? or do we need to start doing it? As a country, as an organisation and as individuals we are taking small steps but we probably do need better leadership and more incentivisation to change more rapidly. Keep up the good work - I cant wait for the next one

  3. Judy Payne
    Judy Payne 23 May 2016, 12:05 PM

    Thanks for the encouraging comments, Andy!You're right about 'doing' of course. But as we have pockets of forward-looking practice, maybe talking is a good starting point. This way we can find out what others are doing, which might just provide a bit of leadership where it is otherwise lacking.When I wanted more flexibility, the only option open to me was to leave traditional employment and work independently. This was 16 years ago - and although I got the freedom I craved, the world still isn't 100% ready for the way I want to work!What does your organisation do to make work more meaningful and flexible for people?