Do you want to do the work of the future, or the past?

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readNov 3, 2021


The work of the future is

· to create value for people (as they experience in their lives)

· by shaping complex systems (working across organisations, perspectives, geographies, cultures)

· and to capture enough of that value to continue

Doing this work will be more effective with an ethical perspective including #sustainability, and with #equalityanddiversity and inclusion at the heart.

This work is in #complexity and will constantly challenge and provoke us — the only the only successful strategy is learning, #innovation, and #creativity.

It’s the only way we can rise to the challenge of climate crisis, the pandemic, and digitisation which threatens to become totalitarian.

The work of the past is to pull stuff out of the ground, turn it into useful things, and provide services with those things.

You can make a lot of money doing that — more so if you can make people want more and more things, want them the way you make them, and in ways that optimise your value capture.

As we develop new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking, people who are deeply committed to the work of the past will try to take and adapt them to keep the old ways going. This will be a temptation for all of us.

Leaders who are fit for the #future need to be able to balance thriving in the here and now with adapting to an uncertain and complex future, without being tempted to get stuck back in the reassuring simplicity of the past. There’s no God coming to save us, nor can you be a God yourself; you just have to keep learning and working… and you will need personal, team, organisational, system, and social agility.

If this intrigues, come to join us at Requisite Agility unleashed:

If you have read this far, you deserve the code RAUN50 which gives you 50% off the Learning Pass.

I’m thrilled to be joined at the conference by Stephen Clement, Philip Boxer, Dave Snowden, Eve Simon, Scott W. Ambler, Bjarte Bogsnes, Patricia Kong, Alex Birke, Kashmir Birk — he and I will share a ‘fireside chat’, and he is also a host of the conference, along with Geordie Keitt, Sunil Mundra, Dr. Stefanie Puckett, Virginia Holden, Dr Darren Stevens, and Pia-Maria Thorén (she/her)

Where do you see the biggest gap in agility in businesses in the present moment?