Thriving in the Future of Work

By Jane Counsel, WIMBN Advisory Board Members & Senior Diversity Consultant, Executive Central

Did you know that in the future, the average person is expected to live to 100, work for 80 years and be employed by a multitude of different organisations?

And not only will the average worker be much older, they will have a very different perspective of what work is and how it gets done.

In Australia we are already seeing the beginnings of a significant re-imagination of work driven by powerful global megatrends including disruptive technology, an ageing workforce, globalisation, rising energy costs and the changing dynamics of traditional families.

Lynda Gratton, author of “The Shift, The Future of Work is Already Here” and a globally-recognised authority on the future of work megatrends, says the changes workplaces are currently experiencing are as significant as the Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th Centuries.

In fact Gratton and her International Future of Work Consortium predict that by 2025 these megatrends will generate five generations in the workforce, 5 billion people connected by hand-held devices, India and China as Global powerhouses and workplace flexibility and non-traditional career paths as the norm.

So what does this mean for your business and how well equipped are you to lead in the Future of Work?

In a globally connected world where transparency is key, authentic leadership becomes critical as leaders are judged on their ability to be inclusive of difference as they increasing manage diverse and global teams.

Great Leaders will also be recognized by their ability to lead through influence and inspiration as traditional leadership status symbols such as hierarchy and a command and control management style become less relevant.

An agile management style with the ability to navigate complexity and ambiguity will also be important to manage the unprecedented rate of change and disruption predicted. Leaders will also need to be connected and not just via their social media groups as globalisation drives a global war for talent and resources.

The changes occurring in the workplace will also be mirrored in the broader community, which will become increasingly discerning about brands they trust and value.

Increased access to information means that customers are increasingly sophisticated in their knowledge of your business and in turn expect more from you.

Being able to anticipate future needs and create an experience customers value will provide the more personal experience customers are desiring and create a point of differentiation in the market.

So how ready are Australian businesses for this new world of work?

In my opinion I think many businesses have been slow to respond to the changing nature of work and are at risk of failing to capitalise on the benefits due to a historical workplace culture of presenteeism and a propensity for leaders to hire in their shadow, which limits innovation, productivity and diversity.

However, in order to remain globally competitive, Australian businesses will need to adapt to proactively manage the changing demographic and expectations of employee and customer segments or risk failing.

To find out more about how Executive Central can help Future Proof your business, you can email Jane @ jane.counsel@executivecentral.com.au or connect with Jane on LinkedIn.

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