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An Agenda for the Workplace of the Future

September 30, 2013

li-canada-oecd620-rtxcnul In this last post in a series in which I’ve highlighted sections of my new e-book Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, I present an agenda for the future of the workplace. If you haven’t already be sure to download this free e-book. In addition to examining issues that will influence how we will work in the future and seven major trends, it contains a wealth of knowledge resources.

An agenda for the future may serve as a catalyst to initiate a dialogue across an organization, in turn helping it to move forward to create a workplace that is adaptable to the many socio-economic, geo-political and environmental changes that are occurring. Here are 10 elements that form such an agenda:

1. Competencies: Link learning to employee and organizational performance by aligning business strategies with talent competencies through a competency-based management model. Such a model comprises four key elements: recruitment, talent development, performance management, succession planning.

2. Continuous Learning:
Foster self-reliance in building one’s personal knowledge, skills, abilities portfolio, using the “I am my brand” approach.

3. Knowledge:
Incorporate KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities) within a competency model to support employees’ work, learning and career development. Embed knowledge transfer as part of continuous improvement and succession planning (loss of expertise and corporate history due to retirements).

4. Collaboration:
Embrace virtual collaboration; move beyond physically-based teams to e-teams. “Nested” networks and teams, based on interdependent efforts, offer new opportunities for knowledge-sharing and innovation.

5. Project Work:
Integrate matrix, project-based work, in which permanent and contingent employees work across organizational units, moving fluidly move in and out of projects.

6. Diversity:
Value and draw upon the diversity within the organization, with partners, stakeholders and virtual collaborators.

7. Leadership:
Adjust leadership approaches to reflect the organization’s demographic composition (e.g., older workers with significant work experience) and that create a work environment that fosters employee self-empowerment and shared leadership.

8. Social Media:
Actively explore how rapidly evolving social media can support your organization’s mission and business strategies, while seeking solutions to security concerns.

9. Work Structure:
Examine the advantages and disadvantages of alternate work arrangements with respect to encouraging creativity, innovation, enhanced client service, reduced carbon emissions, and reduced operating costs. Include studying the net benefits of desk-sharing and open collaborative workspaces (e.g., co-working model).

10. Organizational Structure:
Explore the concept of Charles Handy’s organizational doughnut model in tandem with an organizational design based on matrix (cross-functional) management. What are the implications for customer-client service; the existing organizational structure; relationships with stakeholders (e.g., unions, partners, suppliers, government).

Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting than what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday. Imagine a world in which the business of business was to imagine worlds people might actually want to live in someday. Imagine a world created by people, for the people not perishing from the earth forever.

Yeah. Imagine that.

– Christopher Locke (The Cluetrain Manifesto)

Workforce of the Future Footer CoverClick here to download my complimentary e-book Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, 2nd Edition.

Visit my e-Books, Resources and Services pages.

Jim TaggartTake a moment to meet Jim.

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