New York/London | Forward-looking and meaningful work – simply put, this is what lies behind the fashion and collective term New Work. The idea behind it was originally formulated by the social philosopher Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann and advocates personal development and creativity in working life. In the meantime, a large number of authors have taken up the topic. One such author is US businessman Aaron Dignan, who this year published the book “Brave New Work” at Penguin Verlag. According to Dignan himself, the reason for writing this book was a feeling of dissatisfaction in his day-to-day work as a manager, which is why he set out in search of a new “operating system” for organizations. He compares his approach to a roundabout – based on the self-management of all actors and not on control as traffic lights do. As a problem of the current working world, he identifies too strong a hierarchy and bureaucracy that developed in the 20th century. Today, however, it is imperative to use a positive image of man and to do justice to the complexity of the world. He believes it is necessary to reduce bureaucracy and use collective intelligence, which in turn should awaken the passion and energy of the workforce.
How does Dignan put this into practice? He himself calls his proposed “operating system” for organizations “OS Canvas”. He uses the “Business Model Canvas” by the Swiss economic theorist Alexander Osterwalder as a model. He transfers his approach to the development of new business models to work culture and relationships. Thus he finally comes to 12 dimensions: Sense, workflow, innovation, information, remuneration, structure, strategy, resources, authority, meetings, membership and mastery. He does not, however, want to know these chiseled in stone, but also demands an individual design in the companies. What Dignan also succeeds in doing is to present practical examples. And what should not be missing from such a view of the future: he also poses questions of reflection, with which readers are picked up by their thoughts and explicitly included. But cross-connections and interrelations between the dimensions shown are completely absent. Under the sign of digitization, for example, the topic of remuneration would have to be readjusted in line with corporate consensus.
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