About Workomics

In biology, omics derives from Latin and denotes building a holistic understanding of something large and complex, normally by focusing on its constituent parts (as genomics is the study of the genome). Meanwhile, the -omic in economics derives from the Greek νέμω, meaning to manage.

Workomics is a newsletter that is interested in understanding and managing the complex world of work, and all its constituent parts. The newsletters are unapologetically long, published in the first week of the month, and free.

Workomics is written and published by me, Susan Bartlett. When I’m not writing newsletters, I am a strategic advisor, a technologist, a practitioner of human-centred design, and a student of organizational behaviour.

In the past, I have been a Rhodes Scholar, a strategy consultant, a CEO, and a licensed propane dispenser. (Only one of those involved an objective assessment of my skills.) I love to solve specific, pragmatic problems by drawing on a variety of disciplines and traditions. I have degrees in English literature, software design, philosophy, politics, and economics, and computer science. At different points in my career, I devoted myself to:

  • Applying machine learning techniques to natural language problems.

  • Communicating complex medical concepts to patients.

  • Architecting the data, software, technology, and governance of large enterprises.

  • Embedding human-centred design capabilities in large organizations in service of customer-centricity.

My current endeavour is the future of work. I want to help build organizations that are wonderful places to work. I am an acolyte of David Allen, Brené Brown, and Michael J. Sandel, which is to say I value productivity, vulnerability, and justice—in workplaces and in life.

Outside of work, I am trying to raise two kind, fair-minded boys who are able to chart their own path to happiness and pick up their @%&*!# socks. In this undertaking, my husband Sam is my hope and stay. With whatever spare hours remain, I enjoy dedicating time to deliberate practice of arcane pursuits (curling, tennis, choral singing, duplicate bridge), even if my efforts generally produce minimal improvements owing to a lack of discernable talent. I like to bake things that are indulgent and delicious, and decorate them with intricate depictions in buttercream. I read voraciously, with a penchant for mystery novels, The Globe and Mail on dead trees, and non-fiction that gives me new ways to think about the world.

I feel socially inept at cocktail parties, but love to get to know someone over a meal or a drink. I relish grand adventures to new places, as long as they are interspersed with quiet time at home.

I have lived in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, England, Alberta, and now downtown Toronto. I love busy cities, big prairie skies, and dreaming spires, but it is the ocean that brings me peace.

Whatever my foibles and failings, when all is said and done, I hope it can be truly said that I was generous and kind.