A framework for understanding the future of work

Posted by John Hagel III and Jeff Schwartz on September 27, 2017.

In a recent issue of Deloitte Review John Hagel Jeff Schwartz and Josh Bersin Suggest a Frame to understand the future of work and its implications for individuals, organizations and governments. HR Times met with John and Jeff to learn more about the framework and how executives and HR professionals can apply it.

HR Times: How was this framework born? What led you to create it?

John Hagel: We had more and more discussions about the future of work, from the mass media to conferences to the boards of directors businesses and canteens. We were struck by the fragmentation of the discussions. People would focus on one aspect and consider this as the whole future of work. Our feeling was that they were losing the interdependencies, and that to truly understand the future of the work and the opportunities it presents, one has to see it holistically, not in fragments. We were also struck by the fear that the discussion will be dominated by fear: "Robots are stealing our jobs." Our view is that while this is a challenge, there are tremendous opportunities, but only if we understand the whole field.

Jeff Schwartz: We recognized that to help individuals and leaders understand the future of work, we needed to have an integrated image. Not a broader picture, but an integrated picture of what determines the future of work and where it could have the greatest impact, such as the role of technology, or the whole notion of out-of-work work. for contingent arrangements. As Tom Friedman said in his interview jobs are being redesigned around technology, and jobs and work are being separated from companies. So what does this mean for individuals and businesses and HR and government? It was essential to the way we structured the framework.

HRT: It sounds great. What can our readers, as human resources managers, do to control the problem? What are the concrete things to consider?

JS: For years, HR leaders have talked about taking a seat at the table. As the discussion on the future of work takes center stage, human resource managers are increasingly at the center of the stage and attention is focused on them. Questions about how we redefine work and employment and reimagine learning – how we use technology and emphasize the essentially human things we can do – present a seismic opportunity for HR leaders to all levels.

A large number of these initiatives, particularly around automation and different work models, are conducted outside of HR, by technology and computer, but also by groups of people. 39, supply and supply. HR managers have the opportunity to understand and accelerate these opportunities to improve work and careers, as well as more productive operations. With exponential technologies, we are looking for 10 times more productivity improvement. But the question is, what are the 10x improvements in employee experience and careers of the 21st century?

JH: HR leaders have the opportunity to become the catalyst for fundamental change, but they need to get out of the HR silo and think in a much more integrated way to these forces. But who is best placed to understand the future of the job as the HR chief? This should be in their field.

HRT: This may seem to be a different role for HR. What should HR leaders do to work at this level?

John: Obviously, this goes beyond mere changes in hiring practices or performance ratings in all aspects of the institution. HR managers must look to the future. In a world of increasing pressure, we all tend to focus on the short term, and that will not stop us from effectively tackling the future of work. You must be ready to look forward and try to imagine where it is going. What are the forces shaping that, and what can we do to benefit from it?

In terms of what HR leaders can do to start demonstrating their impact, one of the great things we are advocating is to apply design thinking and methodologies to Workplace to accelerate learning and performance improvement.

We are not saying that we must rethink everything in the future, but adopt a front-line work environment that can be particularly crucial for driving the company's performance. Start thinking about how you would modify this work environment to accelerate learning, and be very explicit about the performance improvement indicators that would tell you whether you are on the right track or not. One of our key themes here is that it's not just a punctual improvement in performance; it's ultimately exponential, sustained in time. This is a first step that could strengthen the credibility and make it tangible to the general direction of the company.

JS: This piece of conceptual thinking that reinvents learning and performance, and that works in an exponential environment, is perfect. The other thing that I encourage HR leaders to understand, is that there are two or three things happening at the meta level. So, if I advised a human resources manager – as I say something similar to almost any group leader – I would say you need to understand exponential technologies and you need to understand convergence.

At present, no one in the company is looking at different types of learning: there is machine learning, individual learning and the # 39, continuous learning at work. The machine learning is finished in technology and the individual learning is finished in the group L & D, and we are not really sure that anyone thinking about workplace learning ( we try to encourage people to make light there). But if human resources managers can really integrate their thinking and their entrepreneurial spirit into the organization around machine learning, individual learning and learning in the classroom. workplace, there is an exponential game and a convergence. The future of work is about people and smart machines working with each other.

HRT: When you say "learning in the workplace", what do you mean?

JH: Our view is that the most important and powerful learning in an exponential world is learning in the form of creating new knowledge, and not just access to existing knowledge. training video. It is a matter of finding workgroups facing an unexpected situation, perhaps that has never been seen before, to find out how to approach it in a creative and imaginative way, that is to say. to create new knowledge through action. And then back from that saying "Wow, what we did was pretty amazing. What we did is something new and different: "This type of embodied learning will be more important for improving business performance and, again, this requires rethinking business practices. workgroups. another.

HRT: Are there things that people can do as individuals to try to prepare for this future?

JH: One of my key messages to individuals in this changing world is to find your passion and incorporate your passion into your work. One of the challenges today is that most people are products of the schools and society that we have, which encourage you to work to get a paycheck, and if it pays well, then Is a good job, rather than encourage you to passion and find a way to live it

JS: The following years belong to people who understand curiosity and understand how to pursue curiosity and learn and explore new things. Being comfortable with learning and novelty is essential. I come back to something that Daniel Pink wrote about 10 years ago in A Whole New Mind, about the importance and utility of the left brain and the right brain. We are finding even more today the importance of STEM skills and art and creative skills. I think Tom Friedman talked about "STEMpathy" jobs, which is a nice example of touching both sides of the spectrum. So, one of the things that I encourage people – especially young people – to do is to pursue your passion, and if you can combine passion in different fields, architecture and economics or biology and medicine and theater, that is 39 is even better. I suppose that people who are comfortable in these converging / divergent situations will be better prepared.

HRT: Coming back to this scary element: Will I have a job? How will I make a living? Are people right to be scared?

JS: Everyone wants to know, am I going to have a job? I think our point of view is that you will have a job; It will be different today. Even if it is the same role, it will be a different job and you will work differently with respect to how you team up and use technology. Many jobs will use technology – truck drivers to retail workers for doctors and all kinds of professionals. What is important for us as HR and business leaders, is finding ways to help individuals, businesses and governments manage change in employment. What does it mean for people and machines to work together?

JH: We are finally optimistic that the way we defined work in the past is in terms of strictly specified tasks, highly standardized tasks, and tightly integrated tasks. That's what's the job, whether you're talking about a factory worker, a salesperson or a customer service employee.

To be provocative, I would say that all these jobs will disappear. Robots and machines are much more efficient in a strictly specified, highly standardized and tightly integrated work. However, it becomes a catalyst to ask, "What can we, as human beings, exploit in terms of unique abilities?" And that brings us back to what we were talking about earlier in terms of curiosity, creativity, imagination, emotional intelligence and mobilize those who both solve problems and creatively identify new opportunities.

As human beings, we have a great need to bring these characteristics into all of us. And on the other hand, as consumers, I think we are going to have a growing demand for highly creative, individualized, and rapidly evolving types of products and services that machines can help. But, in the end, it will be up to us to come up with creative ideas and find creative ways to reach the market. I think it will be Big Shift in terms of redefining the work.

John Hagel III has nearly 35 years of experience as a management consultant, author, lecturer and entrepreneur, and has helped companies to improve their performance by effectively applying the new generations. technology to reshape business strategies. John is currently co-chair of the Deloitte LLP Center for the outskirts of Silicon Valley.

Jeff Schwartz is a director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, as a global leader in human capital marketing, Eminence and Brand. He is also the senior advisor to the firm's human capital consulting firm in India.

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