Article

Future of Work — Reinventing Jobs

A 4-step approach for applying automation to jobs

August 8, 2018
Woman holding 3D printed arm

By Ravin Jesuthasan, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson and
John Boudreau, Research Director for USC’s Center for Effective Organizations and Professor of Management and Organization at Marshall School of Business

We’re delighted to announce the publication of Reinventing Jobs, A 4-Step Approach for Applying Automation to Jobs by work and human capital experts Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau. Reinventing Jobs explores our vision of what the future of work will really look like, and how it will impact organizations as they seek growth and success in an era of change and digital transformation. More importantly, it reveals how leaders can guide this change within their own organizations.

Answering the difficult questions about automation

Once the decision has been made to adopt automation and artificial intelligence technologies, leaders face difficult and stubborn questions about how to implement that decision:

  • How, when, and where should we apply automation in our organizations? Is it a stark choice between humans versus machines?
  • How do we stay on top of these technological trends as work and automation continue to evolve?

The authors suggest that leaders need a new set of tools to answer these daunting questions. Going beyond traditional concepts like a "job," Jesuthasan and Boudreau show leaders that automation calls for a reexamination of what a job really is and show how to determine variations of tasks within jobs and then reconstruct those elements into new and different combinations. Furthermore, transcending the ongoing debate about humans being replaced by machines, the authors show how smart leaders instead are optimizing human-automation combinations that are not only more efficient but generate higher returns on improved performance.

A four-step framework

Based on groundbreaking primary research, this book provides an original, structured approach and a new set of tools for applying automation and artificial intelligence in your organization. Jesuthasan and Boudreau provide a practical four-step framework--deconstruct, optimize, automate, and reconfigure--through which you and others throughout your organization can collaborate to proactively and continuously "reconstruct" work and create optimal human-machine combinations.

Moving beyond the hype

To start applying automation, an organization should begin by deconstructing the work and identifying activities that can be automated. It’s also critical to to define the problems automation can help solve. Will automation be used to reduce errors, increase productivity or transform a body of work?

Reinventing Jobs – Where to start


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Contact the authors

Ravin Jesuthasan John Boudreau

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