It is fitting that CIO and Financial Times columnist Ade McCormack’s latest book is about the challenges of the digital age on employment. Those of you that regularly read McCormack’s columns will know ahead of opening the cover that this isn’t some recruiters guide for how to move your career from IT Director to the latest zeitgeist the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), no our man McCormack likes to look far wider than a makeover of job titles.
Beyond Nine to Five, Your career guide for the digital age, is key reading for every CIO and I would argue almost every citizen. Our nation created the industrial revolution. In turn the industrial revolution created the Great Britain we live in today. Entire towns and cities owe their very existence to the industrial revolution, whether as conurbations built around a thriving port or confluence of industry or to allow mine workers and mine owners easy access to the key resource, man power. The 1980s may have seen the UK move away from old industries, and those that still remain are in a state of greatly increased economic pressure, but the shape of our culture has not altered. Constructs forged in the industrial era, the nine to five of the book’s title for example remain as rigid as a steel girder in our society. At the same time digital business models, whether Amazon or Uber, are challenging these out dated models.
McCormack has delved into history and the psyche of our nation to understand how the industrial age culture has created our work and life culture and he explains how they no longer fit with the needs of consumers, citizens and organisations.
What I found so enjoyable about this book is that you can read it on so many levels. I found myself reading as a member of the CIO community, reading as a father of two daughters who will grow up in a world and country completely unrecognisable from that which I grew up in and reading it as an employee and worker in one of the industries being drastically disrupted by the trends the tome explores. McCormack’s dry and self-deprecating humour is present and welcome and timed well to lift the tone of what at times can be a subject that scares the living daylights out of all of us in mid-life and leadership roles.
Your views on your own career, the schooling of your children and the future trajectory of your organisation (which you will be playing a part in) will be challenged by this book. I recommend this book not because McCormack is a member of the CIO editorial community, but because this book made me ask myself a lot of questions; questions all of us should ask ourselves on a regular basis.
Available as a digital download or Amazon print on demand, visit http://www.ademccormack.com/beyond925/ for a copy