swarming in our futures?

Here is an interesting article predicting changes in work in the next 10 years.

I was particularly interested in the part about swarming, and wondered how it will affect HR and management. Also, the section on informal processes and people working more on the fly really made me think. Do you believe the author is correct?



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  • No one chimed in on this so I am reviving the thread. Do you see swarming in our futures?
  • This article is hilarious but I don't think its meant to be funny.

    Here is a quote:

    [COLOR=red]This suggests the use of n-dimensional virtual representations of all different sorts of data. The contents of the simulated environment will be assembled by agent technologies that determine what materials go together based on watching people work with this content. People will interact with the data and actively manipulate various parameters reshaping the world they’re looking at.[/COLOR]

    Clearly the author has lost his mind and is just making up stuff. Here is another quote. I read this three times and I am still not sure what he is saying.

    [COLOR=red]The core value that people add is not in the processes that can be automated, but in non-routine processes, uniquely human, analytical or interactive contributions that result in words such as discovery, innovation, teaming, leading, selling and learning.[/COLOR]

    But I do like his theory of "spontaneous work" and I am going to devote the rest of my afternoon to see if any of my work will get done spontaneously.
  • LOL. You are right in that he is sometimes hard to follow. I was more interested in his theories regarding swarming, informal work processes and working on the fly. I agree with working on the fly. Things are changing so fast, and it seems to continue to speed up. So just dealing with things as they come up seems to be a possibility. We have also become more informal than in yesteryear. This one I wasn't as certain about because things like clothing and manners seem to recyle themselves.

    Swarming is the one that had me speculating. It is hard for me to see this in the workplace. It seems like you always have the doers, and those who only do under duress. Your thoughts?
  • I think the problem with swarming (if I understand the concept) is that I think there is a tipping point to group efforts where productivity and effectiveness actually decrease when you add manpower.

    I call it the "Stand around because you dont know what to do" principle or SABYDKWTD for short.

    Another challenge to "swarming" is how people work. Some people are very methodical and would not do well if they were pulled off a task to go "swarm" a different project. Thats usually when SABYDKWTD kicks in.
  • Today I think we've all been positively abuzz with swarming (bad pun, very bad pun). Tony, Wendi, Jessica, and I have had all number of out-of-nowhere questions and tasks that have resulted in a lot of on-the-fly working, researching, and collaborating today.

    We divided our problems among groups of small people, each given a specific task that he or she was able to execute quickly. So a project that may have been time-consuming for one person took only minutes for our "swarms" to zip through.

    Personally, in reflecting on today, something about swarming and impromptu tasks leaves me with a sense of having done a lot of work with a relatively minor outlaying of effort in a short period of time. However, it does require a sort of fast-twitch "problem-solving" mental energy that I don't think I would enjoy needing to rely on all the time.
  • "We divided our problems among groups of small people"...

    mmhmmm... Holly, we don't call them small people anymore.

    We call them interns.
  • [QUOTE=Paul in Cannon Beach;720421]"We divided our problems among groups of small people"...

    mmhmmm... Holly, we don't call them small people anymore.

    We call them interns.[/QUOTE]

    *facepalm* See, that just goes to show how much of my mental energy the swarming used up by the end of the day. SMALL groups of people. :P
  • Ok, I read the article and want to make sure I understand it so correct me if I'm wrong.

    Task forces will become "swarms."

    The public and/or customers will become "the collective."

    Action plans will become "sketch-ups."

    Strategic planning will become "spontaneous work" or will it become "detecting pattern sensitivity"?

    Chaos will become "my place."

    It all makes perfect sense to me.

  • I think I'll stick with grabbing a beer and deploying the chute.
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