Work is working better than ever. Human potential is fulfilled like never before. It’s a whole new world of work. Here are the big shifts happening now.
Work is becoming more personal, flexible and more people-shaped. It’s never been more diverse, challenging and advanced. More rewarding. More technically evolved. Individuals are empowered as never before and, increasingly, work fits around their lives, not the other way round. People have unprecedented independence and autonomy and all the tools and technologies that make that possible.
Re-form & refocus
Companies are delayering and re-shaping. The corporation is disaggregating. Value components are supplied by those who do them best and have the scale and scope to match. Non-core activities are outsourced, often abroad. Routine tasks are left to off-shore contractors.
The West and BRIC+ increasingly find Intellectual Property their principal source of value. Owning brand, ideas, MOs, big (and small) data, relationships, R&D, access to capital and talent is what companies increasingly focus on because this is where they believe their advantage lies.
Many brands thrive and expand by owning the system, the concept, the experience and crucially, the brand and its exceptional value.
Many brands thrive and expand by owning the system, the concept, the experience and crucially, the brand and its exceptional value. That’s how Subway has gone global, reaching 43,000 stores and millions of consumers in just a few years, with just a handful of people at the centre fuelling the engine.
Everything that is a different profession and, indeed, someone else’s profession like cooking, cleaning, security, data services, property sourcing and facilities management, for example – others can do them better, at scale, with total focus and dedicated professionalism.
Freedom from immobile infrastructure is growing. Not wanted: buildings, transport, wires, capital tied up. Wanted: Flexibility and freedom.
Next generation work
Generations X, Y and the Millennials hold entirely altered expectations of work. They’re more about doing cool things and achieving personal fulfillment than about climbing the traditional career ladder. Rising awareness of workspace, technology, social cohesion, life balance and health are setting a new direction for the way we work. And new ways of working are flourishing. Different paces, places, and rhythms and flows. You work your way. You work how, when, where you want. It is more fluid than ever.
The internet shrinks distance, divisions, time, scale requirements, capital requirements. It has reduced tolerance of delay and created a craving for immediacy.
The speed of geographic coverage is unprecedented. Enterprises are instantly global. An impatient start-up culture demands instant business-readiness. Our need for social connection now is satisfied only by instant crowd-reaching networks. All this means more collaborations, more partnerships and more possibilities to engage millions of customers.
People crave autonomy: start-ups, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are our heroes. We’re the most sophisticated work generation to have ever existed, and we no longer accept the conventional, tried and tested.
- Create, fund and distribute your new business from home, the café, the park bench.
- Fresh reward systems motivate new mindsets, and a corner office is no longer one of them.
- New crowd-sourcing models are getting businesses off the ground and new retail collectives take small businesses to the masses.
Information flies, knowledge accelerates, ideas go global in a blink. Reputations, good and bad, settle fast, and change happens just as fast. People form tribes across longitudes and latitudes, becoming ever closer, despite geographical distances.
Businesses are judged and valued by their relevance, purpose, ideals, activism, commitment and world impact. Increasingly it’s not about what you say, it’s about the sum total of your actions. It’s never been more critical for all of us actively manage our reputations.
As familiar processes are abandoned, new ones need to be learned. Innovative practices are yet to emerge. 60% of the next generations’ jobs have not been invented yet. And the 40% that exist are likely to escape their old grooves too.
We’ll need to learn from a new generation raised on new ways of working, interacting, playing and inventing. Or we should listen to the world of work experts, the outsourcing players, whose very reason to exist is to help people do the work they do best, even better?
Every enterprise must look into itself and understand what the work is that it truly excels at. If you are peerless in planting prize-winning apples then focus on that, not on conveying gardeners to and from the orchards. Let Uber handle that much better and at much lower real and opportunity cost to you. But if you’re Uber, and great at transport algorithms, why bother employing your own people to acquire and maintain your offices? Outsource to the property expert.
Be clear on the true source of your business value.
Do what you do best. Outsource the rest.
Work processes have, in general, not kept pace with technology and the new possibilities it allows. It’s time to fundamentally recalibrate work.
If we want to work in the best way, and achieve the most satisfaction and greatest value from it, we need to open up to the new. To produce works most progressive outcomes, we must let work progress.
venturethree is working with Regus to transform their brand, and helping them transform the world of work.