Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment
Buy Rights Online Buy Rights

Rights Contact Login For More Details

More About This Title Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment


A detailed look at the evolution of employment and its far-reaching implications

Lead the Work takes an incisive look at the evolving nature of work, and how it's affecting management and productivity at the organizational level. Where getting things done once meant assigning it to an employee, today's leaders are increasingly at risk if they fail to recognize that talent can float into and out of an organization. Long-term employment has given way to medium- or short-term employment, marking the first step in severing the bond that once fixed an individual inside an organization. Getting work done by means other than an employee was once considered a fringe event, but now leading organizations are accepting and taking advantage of the notion that talent has shown itself to be mutable. This book explores this phenomenon in detail and provides a new roadmap to help managers navigate this new environment.

The workplace has undergone many changes over the years, but the emerging trend away from traditional employment represents a massive shift that has profound implications for the business model of every organization, large or small. This book describes how management is changing, and how managers must adapt to survive.

  • Examine the dispersed organization and the changing nature of employment
  • Learn how work is becoming impermanent and individualized
  • Find new strategies for managing and leading
  • Get up to speed on the decision science for the new era

Workplaces evolve like biological beings; only the strong survive, and it's the competitive edge that ensures continued success. Lead the Work describes the new landscape, and shows you how to adapt and thrive.


JOHN BOUDREAU is research director at the Center for Effective Organizations and professor of management and organization in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

RAVIN JESUTHASAN is a managing director and global practice leader at Towers Watson, and has been recognized as one of the top 25 most influential consultants in the world.

DAVID CREELMAN is CEO of Creelman Research. He writes, researches, and speaks on the most critical issues in human capital management.


Foreword xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

PART ONE The Background 1

Chapter 1 Leading Work—Not Managing Employees 3

Chapter 2 Free Agent World 23

Chapter 3 Outsourcing and Alliances 35

Chapter 4 The Talent Platforms 50

PART TWO The Model 81

Chapter 5 Leading the Work Beyond Employment: A Decision Framework 83

Chapter 6 How IBM Leads the Work 92

Chapter 7 The Assignment: How Much to Deconstruct, Disperse, and Detach? 111

Chapter 8 The New Organization: Permeable, Interlinked, Collaborative, and Flexible 135

Chapter 9 The Reward: Short-Term, Individualized, and Imaginative 153

PART THREE Implications 175

Chapter 10 Future HR Practices in Leading the Work 177

Chapter 11 Future HR Outcomes in Leading the Work 206

Chapter 12 Governance and Stakeholders 219

Chapter 13 Nations, Citizens, and Children 238

About the Authors 255

Index 257