Creating workplaces in which the next generation thrives
The big four have ruined the school of thought on Future of Work. They have made companies focus on a world of automation, robots and AI. PWC talks about creating workforces embodying “an agile culture and skillset needed for humans and machines to work in harmony”. Deloitte discusses the “augmented workforce”. Ernst debates “The Machine Economy”.
But… Future of Work was never focused on any one tech trend. And it never should be.
Future of Work was always about people… and about the need for organisations to be relentlessly focused on how their people are able to work to be their most brilliant selves.
Future of Work knew that true productivity would be measured by output, not input… because there is nothing productive about people sat in rows of desks clock watching for 8 hours. And that allowing your people to achieve incredible work life balance would mean they are more productive, more innovative, more creative when they apply themselves to realising the vision of the organisation they work with.
Future of Work knew hierarchy would become a thing of the past… because it understood that the collective could enable brilliant ideas and deliver real wonder in a way that none of the individuals could alone – no matter how senior. That knowledge is only powerful once shared, and so true collaboration and democracy of thought would win out.
“Unlike the older generations, young people think that knowledge should be shared and allowed to flow freely rather than kept to themselves.”-Soulaima Gourani Leading Multiple Generations In Today’s Workforce
Future of work understood that, as the infamous Peter Drucker said, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’… and that the organisations which enabled their people to bring their whole selves to work, empowered them to have a voice, share ideas, ask questions, challenge decisions and input views would create a living, breathing culture that put them ahead of the rest.
Future of Work understood that location would become increasingly irrelevant… because work is a thing you do not a place where you go. That anywhere could become a workspace because technology had enabled people to communicate from whenever they were in the world – from cafes and parks to war zones and jungles.
It knew that every organisation is different… but that each of its people are too. And that the organisations that will win are those that embrace this difference. Embrace the individual identities of their people and revel in them in order to enable them to contribute their most incredible selves.
And most importantly that every single organisation that wants to win, not sunset, must be willing to architect itself into a state of perpetual change.
Because gone are the days when what has always worked, always will.
“Organisations have sleepwalked into the 21st century with their 20th century silos, processes, and ways of working.”- Richard Lewis
The companies still tied into set ways of working, processes, systems, target operating models are dying. 52% of fortune 500 companies have disappeared since the year 2000. Nearly 9 out of 10 Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955 are gone.
The organisations that will thrive are the ones built to change – able to continuously adapt processes, structures, technologies to enable their people, the most important part of any organisation, to work in the ways that they need so that they can achieve incredible things.
So, when you ask yourself if your organisation is ready for the workforce of tomorrow – let’s not limit the conversation to robots.
Don’t let the big consultancies convince us that Future of Work can be addressed just like any other tech trend. What a missed opportunity!
Know that it was and always is about your people. How your organisation meets the changing needs of your people will differentiate you, your culture and your brand in the market in a way that no exciting new hyped up technology solution can.
Which is why here at Rainmaker we are constantly working with organisations who accept that to thrive in this world they need to embrace a perpetual state of change, so that they can exceed the needs of their markets and keep up with innovation. But most importantly, meet the rapidly evolving needs of their people so they can always be brilliant.
And who better to tell us how these needs are evolving than the next generation.
So to the 14 year old girl who told me she will be her most brilliant self working at the bottom of the ocean in a pod at a recent workshop we held, we can’t wait to make that happen! Because who are we to constrain how the next generation will work?
Especially when they, not the robots, will decide which organisations win.
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