Accelerating the Future of Work

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Accelerating the Future of Work
We need to understand as leaders and HR professionals that the design of the future of work is inevitable, we need to get this done and get this done fast in an agile manner.

Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. How far are you from creating the future?

Everybody from the board to the sales delivery executive working on the street is now interested to know what the Future is of Work. Well, I must say that as organizations we have been successful in coining this term. Well, how successful are you in implementing this? When we come to this question, we all start looking at each other.  There is no ONE right answer to this question. And yet there are/could be multiple right solutions to this question.  Org across the world is grappling with some of these questions let me know if you have any different questions in your mind at this point in time, it will help us all to collectively focus on the right solution for each of us. 

  • How is my organization going to be structured going forward? What is retained, redundant, and what is new?
  • Will my job be redesigned? IF yes, which ones and how?
  • What basic hygiene elements for an employee/talent change because of the above and how do we ensure seamless delivery of services to our employees?
  • Do we have to redesign our system and process? Which ones and WHY? How with this redesign can we provide a ‘better experience’ to our employees/talent which should lead to a better customer experience?
  • What is the sustainability of what we design? Feedback and corrective improvements?

There can be an endless list of questions, I have however tried to encompass most of the current challenges broadly in the above 5 questions.  I am sure we are all at various stages of solutioning to the above questions and are working out models and frameworks that suit each organization and its people.

We need to understand as leaders and HR professionals that the design of the future of work is inevitable, we need to get this done and get this done fast in an agile manner. Just look around in the last 16 months things have drastically changed around us both personally and professionally, isn’t it? If we don’t keep pace with the change we will lose sight of our goal and get entangled in useless issues or futile time converters (FTC) as I like to call them.  The other aspect is to reflect on the questions above individually, share solutions collectively and learn together however apply what best suits your organization. Do not copy-paste, for what may work at X ltd will not work at Y ltd.  Take inspiration but let it not become blind imitation.

One of the most important areas for future of work is the technology landscape and this is where the larger problem lies, there are so many options, and we are lucky to be spoilt for choice but at the same time, we are not sure on how to choose what to choose and most imp WHY to choose? Let me try to simplify this for you. I have put together a model which you could refer to during your decision-making brainstormings. I call it the MATCH.

M stands for Maturity – of the organization you are a part of. That is the starting step. Where is your organization (employees/talent/systems/infra/customers/process….) placed in each of the impacted areas compared to your peers, smaller firms or larger firms, and globally.  We all have global aspirations but making that leap in one go is sure sign of failure. 

A stands for Audience – Who are the beneficiaries of this technology? Your employees/talent other stakeholders, vendors, customers? and why do they need this, how will it help? In the current and future context, the audience could be the contract workforce, Gig workforce, and multiple other such networked stakeholders too, a lot of clarity comes from the way you have redone your job and org design. 

T stands for the Technology – Based on the maturity and audience you need to ask yourself along with your CIO which and what form of technology do we need? A simple answer to this would be an answer to the question – Does the technology enable me (my org) to provide a good/better/best “Experience” to the concerned stakeholders? And – Is it cloud-based, SAAS, PAAS, and the features et all. This will help you streamline which platform you should choose and what sort of technology you wish to deploy.  

We have a host of technology today, we have BOTs to answer frequently asked questions, Virtual Assistants to ease your task flow, AI and ML to help you with predictive analytics and so much more. The question to ask is – Do I need it all and why do I need it?

CH stands for the most important element which will decide if you will pass or fail. Its Change management.  This final mega step is as crucial as the others.  In this phase, you test, pilot, and implement. Just remember that behaviors are hard to change, it’s very easy for people to go back to what they were doing and then start picking up something new. To ensure this is a success you should get your “leaders” to be your champions and ensure they push the case for change.

Last but not the least, the final aim and goal for you should be to ensure that you are able to provide an exceptional experience to all your stakeholders most importantly your employees who are your assets.  The experience you will provide them will determine how long you are able to hold on to them and your overall brand value as an organization in the marketplace.

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