Organization Next Workshop Follow-up. The Nikita Persona. #e2conf #organizationnext

Organization Next Workshop Follow-up. The Nikita Persona. #e2conf #organizationnext


Freelance Planet

imageIt’s the buzz, it’s the buzz it’s the buzz.

That’s Nikita’s job. To figure out the buzz. As the Director of Conversational Analytics Nikita needs to tell her clients what their people are talking about. She works for a number of companies, but insists on the same title everywhere. It’s in the contract.

Nakita gestures at her computer and says,


"Hey," from the seemingly disembodied response. Nikita can see Brad. Brad can see Nikita. Her open collar button-down and tacked up hair looks professional. She complements the professional attire with grey sweat pants and well worn Birkenstock clogs. For clients, Nikita only exists above the waist.

Outside the buzz of Budapest asserts itself against Nikita’s street level window. She has had sound-proof glass installed and the buzz fails to penetrate.

Nikita grew up in Nagyvárad and moved to Budapest with her boyfriend several months ago. That didn’t go so well so she took her couch, her desk and her computer and moved into her own flat. It was really noisy so she popped for some upgrades. The sound proof glass was one. The ultra-secure WiFi was another. The city was bathed in WiFi, but any college dropout could hack the public network, and probably already did. Her clients wanted her to tell them things they didn’t already know, and they sure as hell didn’t want anybody else to hear about it.

Another wrist flip. She switches to Japanese. It’s a quality issue. Not one that has shipped, but some people are worried that manufacturing cut corners from the R&D specs.

This one probably saved a few lives, she thinks to herself.

She stares intensely at the screen. It picks up her eye movements and reconfigures itself. This is one weird mix of words. She realizes that what she is seeing is a merger and one of the clients is heavily outsourced. The semantics suck because they have overlapping languages and orthogonal conceptual frameworks. She starts disambiguating the feed. Within ten minutes the system figures out what she is doing and starts doing it for her. This all takes place on her personal device with encrypted results automatically uploaded to the holographic storage in the cloud. She can’t trust the cloud with her code, but once she encrypts it, she can put it anywhere. To anyone but her, its just an inert digital clod. When her apps aren’t executing they, and their source, looks the same. But when its executing, smart people can figure out things, so she runs everything were prying eyes can’t look. With 128GB of RAM and a 32-CPU-distributed-personal-cloud-processor, she’s pretty set for now.

As soon as the run is over everything collapses back into an encrypted state. To anyone but Nikita, her machine would appear to have been completely erased.

There’s a buzz in her head. She shakes it. Its Máté. He has a lead. As much as she likes being independent, it means marketing all of the time. She has to pay her doctors directly and worry about retirement – well, someday. At 35 she isn’t worried about retirement. Nikita, however, is worried about her next gig. Máté is one of her agents.

photo"Pharma," he says.

"Pharma’s good. Lots of worries. I do well were people worry. Just need one good result and they are hooked."

"VP of Customer Insights," he says.

She nods, acknowledging the deal and accepting the contact info at the same time.

Máté’s PayPal account goes CaChing.

She doesn’t care about the industry. She learns what she needs to know from their feeds. All the language comes to her like high fat food, but rather than sticking to her waist, it sticks to her gray matter. Nikita eats words.

Flick. Subtle finger.

Korean. Energy. Concerns about new reactor design. All aesthetics. Nothing material. They’ve got the engineering down so well the only thing people can bitch about is paint, carpet and what art will be stamped on the dome. Seems they selected an artist with a subversive nature. Nikita likes that, but can’t say anything. All data, no opinion.

Her PayPal account goes CaChing.

Flick. Wrist. Wrist. Point.

The Pharma guy is old, maybe 55. He is very skeptical. Keeps deluding himself about how he knows what’s going on. He knows his people, he says. They run a very transparent organizations. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Five minutes she says. Secure stream. Five minutes.

He goes away. Comes back. He acknowledges her NDA.


"Back in 30," she says.

He hangs up.

A secure address appears. Man, they sent me dead data.

Five minutes of dead data stream into Nikita’s app.

The stream stops.


Flick. Wrist. Wrist. Point.

"Potentially horrible side effects. Data tampering on clinical trial two. The stats don’t lie, then they do."

He looks uncomfortable. Little beads of sweat roll into his crow’s-feet.


Flick. Flick. Swirl. Point.

He signs the contract.

Her PayPal account goes CaChing.

The live encrypted data pours into the port. Nikita starts swimming.

Daniel W. Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.

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