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Work isn’t working: Aaron Dignan challenges modern management at OPTIMA22.

Everyone knows meetings are exhausting. They tax our time, money, and focus. They stop us from completing valuable work. They usually last too long and involve too many people. Worst of all, they often don’t even lead to meaningful outcomes.

None of these facts surprise us. But what if, as Aaron Dignan asks, almost all of modern management was just as obsolete?

At OPTIMA, we’re proud to explore the innovative frontiers of management, human resources, and talent optimization. That’s why we’re excited to add speaker, consultant, and Brave New Work author Aaron Dignan to our OPTIMA22 lineup.

Image promoting Aaron Dignan as a speaker at OPTIMA22, the premiere talent optimization conference.

Why Aaron Dignan thinks bureaucracy belongs in the past

As Dignan cheekily points out in the introduction to Brave New Work, modern bureaucracy and intentional sabotage look almost the same. Many familiar parts of organizations—overreliance on meetings, insistence on rigid channels and regulations, excess caution—could be taken word-for-word from the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual.

It’s ironic, because in his own way, Dignan is a dissident against corporate norms. Where modern organizations insist on layers upon layers of approval, Dignan wants trust. Where they insist on Byzantine rules and regulations, Dignan wants guidelines. Where they insist on rigid planning and budgets, Dignan wants flexibility.

All of this, from Dignan’s perspective, is nothing less than revolutionary. It’s an opportunity to unleash workers’ creative forces and foster unprecedented growth in productivity, innovation, and on-the-job satisfaction.

How Aaron Dignan goes from “ideal” to “real”

For some people, ideals are abstract. For Dignan, they come from experience.

As a CEO and founder, Dignan has deep experience with management and organizational dynamics. Across 15 years and three separate companies, he’s seen what works—and what doesn’t. That’s why he’s committed to seeing his ideals become a reality.

He delivers part of that commitment through his work as an author and coach. By helping other organizations fix their bureaucratic malaise, he creates a direct impact on the world.

Even more interesting is his latest company, Murmur, a web-based platform that allows organizations to create, reform, and share policies and worker agreements.

It’s a simple idea: When a company creates or rethinks their worker agreements, they can draw on the agreements other successful companies have made. From there, their team can vote, edit, and provide feedback. Murmur turns rules from a dry, top-down mandate to a collaborative process that empowers employees at every level.

How Brave New Work and talent optimization go hand-in-hand

Just like Dignan, talent optimization challenges conventional assumptions about work. Instead of a one-size-fits-all experience, work should be personalized according to people’s behavioral needs. It’s only when employees become energized, engaged, and talent optimized that their productivity and creativity peak.

That’s why Aaron Dignan is a natural choice for OPTIMA22. As we move towards a post-pandemic world, there’s no better time for organizations to innovate and find new solutions—not just to business problems, but to management and people problems too.
Don’t lose your chance to explore the cutting edge of work. Reserve your tickets now for OPTIMA22. The in-person conference runs from April 12 to 14, 2022, at the Sheraton in Downtown Boston, with a virtual event set for April 26.


Robbie is a technical and content writer at PI. You can find him walking by Lake Michigan or plotting his next DnD campaign.

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