We need a completely new approach to work. We need to be able to respond to the many rapid changes. We need new skills, new behaviours, and new systems. Most of all we need a new holistic mindset for handling a new type of workplace. Overall, we can see this shift as a focus from doing stuff to being someone.
A central element is the focus on creating value versus creating money. The more we look in the direction of abundance of products and results, the less interesting it is to focus on money as the goal. Money is a result, not a reason to exist (Simon Sinek, “Start With Why”, 2009). Instead we seek to create value for our employees, our customers, our community, and our society. This ‘value-creation’ is the new currency.
The design of our workplace, and our understanding of what constitutes ‘work’ must change too:
We will see a transformation in HR: in attitude, philosophy, structure, service offerings, and skillset. This will be the result of three things:
- We stop looking at humans as resources, but instead look at people and culture as a core of our approach to each other. Our employees are not production resources; they are human beings with personal lives, experiences, histories, and attitudes. They shape our culture, and thus who we are and how we do things.
- The line of business has for a long time looked outside the organization for support on strategic leadership and organizational development (OD). This is going to change. HR – or should we say People and Culture – will regain the position as vendors of leadership and OD.
- The automation shift makes it easier to outsource the more functional tasks in HR like candidate screening, profiling, legal support etc.
We will see a transformation in the amount of freedom in organizations, removing hierarchies and control, replacing it with networks, gig workers, trust, and freedom.
We will see a transformation in the work-job-task mix, with the entry of automation and software robots which can handle routine tasks and processes, enabling us to handle all the things that are exceptions to the rules.
Finally, we’ll see emerging organizations that are extremely visionary and ambitious, rooted in strong human values and focused on creating value for customers and society, while at the same time being very profitable. These organizations will not necessarily be large companies, since size and impact are not causal to each other.