How Michael E. Porter’s seminal model can help us plan for the future of work

Figurines standing on stack of coins

MMichael E. Porter’s Five Forces has been an influential framework to model business strategy since its original publication in 1979. Porter, an influential economist and Harvard Business School professor, developed the Five Forces as a tool through which to assess the competition within an industry. The premise is simple: business…

How modern-day service work and 19th-century farm labor may be more similar than you realize

In the 19th century, more than 70% of the American labor force worked in agriculture. Today, when we think about that work — the cyclicality of harvest times, how external factors like the weather can create constant uncertainty about one’s income, the physical toll of the labor — we might…

A comparison of the minimum wage, annual leave, unionization, and corporate governance around the world

In the 1930s, FDR and Labor Secretary Frances Perkins introduced sweeping reforms to American labor policy. The New Deal era is responsible for the invisible guardrails that feel like immutable features of work: a federal minimum wage, 40 hour work week, and the right to unionize. But besides small amendments…

And the problems with our classification systems

What occupations are considered “skilled”? Maybe it’s the jobs that require a college degree. Or the ones with the highest wages. Perhaps it’s the level of judgement required.

Although “skilled” and “unskilled” remain common terms used to describe and analyze the workforce, there isn’t a consistent way to classify work…

A Brief Overview of the Current (And Potential) Regulatory Solutions To Address Income and Wealth Inequality in the United States

For months, governments around the world have been sorting through the economic devastation caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic, putting in measures in an attempt to spur a U-shaped recovery, and avoid what seems to be an inevitable K-shaped one. …

The History of Classifying Occupations and How It Affects Our Perception of Work

To help match the unemployed with employment opportunities in the depths of the Great Depression, Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal administration, worked to pass The Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, creating Employment Service field offices across the country. After recognizing the value of the employment…

Lessons Learned From Industry Experts at the 2020 Jobs For the Future Horizons Conference

Every job has been impacted by the pandemic. Millions have become unemployed and many others have seen the very nature of their work change dramatically. It has revealed social and economic vulnerabilities in the United States that have been persisting under the surface for far too long.

This means that…

How thinking about the future puts constraints on the present

One of the most fascinating quirks of human psychology is our reluctance to change our course of action. We commit to jobs, relationships, investments and social activities with a limited set of information, and then go about the process of reconciling our expectations with our lived experience, often rationalizing any…

Amanda Silver

Workplace researcher and storyteller; passionate about using operations to improve jobs. Subscribe to Workable for news on changing work: https://bit.ly/2LAonT2

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