5 drivers to build success for the 2020s workplace - Brand new research out now


silver key blog

As part of our event series around the 2020s workplace shift, we have completed a brand new global research project. We first presented the data at our event here in Singapore on March 10th, 2016we are pleased to launch our in-depth look at the results of new global research.

3 key messages to whet your appetite

  • Our Leaders and Managers are not prepared for the 2020s workplace.
  • The potential of new technologies and tools is being exploited by only a fraction of organizations responding to this survey.
  • An immobilization around diversity and bias action will be a major issue to tackle unless the initiative is seized now.

This new white paper is practical and action oriented. The research findings are supplemented with examples from over 50 Business, HR, Learning and OD leaders of current best practices, suggestions for action now and out-of-the-box new thinking to help everyone establish clear next steps, within their own organizations, behind each of the 5 drivers for successful change. Join our ongoing sharing and discussion threads on Twitter here: #cegos2020lf

This research is based on a survey completed earlier this year by over 175 companies across Asia Pacific (70%), US (12%) and Europe (18%), representing almost 1500 senior level Business, HR and Learning Leaders.  The primary focus was to establish the truths and myths associated with 5 critical drivers for successful workplace change as we head to the 2020s:

Driver #1: The Impact of TechnologyDriver #2: The broadening cross generational challengesDriver #3: Diversity and Bias (both conscious and unconscious)Driver #4: The Future of work as we know itDriver #5: Leader and Manager readiness

Key survey findings and messages

The first element was to establish the importance of each of the Drivers for Change in the eyes of our survey participants. In ranking order, they are:

  1. Impact of Technology
  2. Leader and Manager readiness
  3. The future of work
  4. Diversity and Bias
  5. The cross generational challenges

Interestingly we conducted a mini poll during our event and asked the same question. The overwhelming response was that Leader and Manager readiness is in fact the key to unlocking success as a first focus. Certainly as a need that is building rapidly in many companies.

Drivers for Change - The Headlines

Driver #1: The Impact of Technology

  • Robots will not take over the world just yet but we will see increasing automation as the 4th Industrial Revolution gets into full swing.
  • With more physical distance between people we require the most appropriate technologies to bind the organizational communities together, enabling close communication and collaboration. Many are not getting this right and the need is now urgent and important.

Driver #2: The broadening cross generational challenges

  • This is in danger of becoming a sensationalist topic, driven by media headlines, when in fact according to this survey there is strong evidence to suggest we are more on top of this challenge that ever before, to the extent that it is not an issue to preoccupy us like it once did. There will be issues to deal with of course, especially as GenZ join the workforce and we tackle an increasing aging population in parts of the world – but there is confidence we will be able to handle it and handle it well.

Driver #3: Diversity and Bias (both conscious and unconscious)

  • A huge agreement across our survey set that it is the Leader and Manager population who need to step up and tackle the issues now and potentially greater challenges of the shifting 2020 workplace. This acknowledgement of need is clearly not being mirrored with action. There is immobilization on this point and a simmering pan of potential issues for many organizations. There appears to be little in the way of clear planning around how to tackle these issues and how to up-skill Leaders and Managers to be able to deal with them.

Driver #4: The Future of work as we know it

  • Mobile working hubs, flexible working hours and greater independent workforce are all key themes that will emerge according to this survey.  It appears that workplace ready individuals in higher education are being better prepared in the US and Europe, than they are in the Asia Pacific region, for the challenges of the workplace of the future – not just the workplace as exists now. This will be a key success factor as the GenY worldwide working population creeps over 50% in a few years and we welcome the new influx of Generation Z.

Driver #5: Leader and Manager readiness

A preoccupation for many participating in this survey and clear that we have two distinct challenges:

a) Generation X stepping up as the leaders in waiting. All participants felt GenX is the best generation to be able to lead and manage through the changes to come. They are seen as competent, flexible and change agile. But – according to one of our previous surveys, Generation X themselves are not so confident. In fact they are the least confident generation out there as they consider Leading their organizations through the shifting 2020s workplace. They need help and with it, will most certainly step up and perform.

b) Generation Y as the core operational Managers of the 2020s workplace and their role in the integration of GenZ into the workplace and driving performance through others, not just themselves. There is not enough being done in many organizations to prepare our Managers now with skills they will need for the future workplace, alongside the traditional and still no less important skills we are more traditionally focus upon.

There are some interesting outputs and challenges here to consider. We have finally pulled together all the research findings and are now able to share with you a more detailed, data-rich report. This is be coupled with a consideration of best practices, actions and big wins to be had across each Driver for Change with more focus now, to prepare our organizations, leaders, managers and teams for the future.

Get your copy now!

This action orientation is thanks to the Business, HR and Learning Leaders who attended our event and work-shopped each driver to bring out powerful, actionable next steps.