The Future of Work As We Know It - 2020s Workplace Driver for Change #4

Man-hands-using-tablet-pcA very happy new year to you all - May I wish you a successful, happy and healthy 2016.In this series of 5 posts I am considering 5 key drivers for change as we head to the 2020 workplace, individually. Have your say and complete our survey on the topic! It will take about 10 minutes. Complete the 2020 surveyThe 5 key Drivers for Workplace Change we are considering as part of the survey are: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 it nowDriver #5: Leader and Manager readinessFor this fourth post (you can access the previous three through my profile) I will take a look at Driver #4 – The future of work and the future workplace.Consider some of the theories, predictions and realities we are working through today and their importance in the 2020s workplace.
  • Further Dispersed Workforce
  • Artificial Robotic Intelligence and Machines doing more tasks / jobs
  • Office as we know it – how will it change?
  • White Space Management
  • The rise of the ‘economy of independents’ - Individual consultants / lone entrepreneurs / rise of interim management / Contractor economy expansion
  • Defining productivity in the new ways of working
  • New Markets continue to open further globalizing work for small, medium and large enterprise
  • Diversity and bias in the 2020s and how we will understand & define them, manage them etc in such a shifting environment.
  • Technology and new innovation impacting how we live, work and learn
  • Rising workplace-ready populations / aging workplace populations – Huge opportunity or massive challenge?
  • Leadership and Management skills to handle all of the above…to be covered in my next and final post in this series.
This list goes on of course. Just reading it helps us understand the magnitude of some of the shifts we may witness and need to lead / manage through over the next 10-15 years or so.Some of these are starting now and with the 2020s less that 990 days away, many organizations need to get a strategic grip on how their organizations will change, what this means, how the changes will be led and managed and how the shifts will impact individuals, customers etc to the benefit (or detriment) of all.In our privileged position as a Learning Consultancy visiting organizations across all sectors, it is astonishing to us that all of the above (and many of the other macro Drivers for Change we have discussed) for many companies remains the ‘undiscovered country’ – something unreal, theoretical, not to be concerning us now, not as bad as all that. Perhaps it's time for a wake up call.To understand more about this and other predictions, hypotheses and realities and why this is so critically important to get hold of now – as a mindset for change first and then as an action oriented approach second - I would recommend a few recent posts and blogs:A) An interesting article in Forbes in April 2015 considered how current corporate enterprise might fragment over the next few years to create three new "worlds of work" Forbes Article1) The Green World where social responsibility becomes a strategic business driver2) The Orange World where large corporates are replaced by smaller, more agile and flexible enterprise and individuals3) The Blue World where corporate giants dominate, consolidate, get bigger and rule supremeB) A European study by the Economist and Ricoh on the Future of work highlighted three key characteristics and importantly their impact on how Organizations / Human Capital will need to adapt and demonstrate competence in new areas / skills.The three key areas highlighted described the future of work as Automated, Creative & Dispersed. They were based on the following three headline conclusions:
  • In the next decade-and-a-half, digital technology will dissolve the concept of work as we know it.
  • The growing use and sophistication of automation will shift the emphasis of human employment towards creativity and social skills.
  • This new reality of work will require a new, more nurturing approach to management.
You can download the report here: The Future of Work - it makes fascinating reading.C) I would also recommend visiting Futurist Jacob Morgan website for  some great podcasts with examples and case studies of what organizations need to and are doing now to prepare for the future. Fascinating and more than a little sobering. Futurist PodcastsD) Finally – We need to create a strong Mindset for Change.Before anything can be done – we need our organizations, Leaders, Managers and teams to “get their head in the game" – it all starts with awareness and attitude. Awareness that we need to start thinking / doing differently in our journey to the 2020s and the positive attitude to actually buy in and commit personally to the shifts and changes needed.Laura Goodrich and the Global Workforce Transformation team are rolling their sleeves up and getting things done in this respect. Visit their website here: Creating a Mindset for Change - Their whole sense of being is beautifully summarized in the headline “To help you manage change and be ready for the future of work." Laura and the team have been working hard to build solutions whereby we can prepare our Leaders and Managers more effectively by helping them create a mindset for change. Take a look. In fact I have been really impressed by some of the solutions coming out of GWTNext and have invited Laura over to Asia to speak at our LearningFuture2020 conference on 10th March this year (more to be shared over next week or two) – It's just the kind of thinking we can share with our customers in Asia so they can champion the future of work.And, by the way, the future is now…