Introduction

Futurists inform us that many of today's jobs will not exist tomorrow and that many of the jobs of tomorrow don't exist today. Also the nature of work is changing, eg more contract, part-time work situations, eg around 1/3 of US workers are now classified as contractors or freelancers. This provides opportunity but can create confusion. People and organisations need to make decisions within this complex, uncertain environment. Mentoring or executive coaching is a good way to help people handle these situations.

Trend towards activity-based workspace as a way to save costs, increase efficiency of use and increase interaction between groups that wouldn't otherwise mix in a traditional fitted-out office. This is now going one step further with organisations opening their premises to outsiders. This is providing a ready-made network for new ideas, challenging preconceptions, encouraging collaboration, developing new customers/clients, etc

"...the larger your organisation gets, and the more process driven, the more structured it becomes; you start to wonder whether you are losing some of the strengths, the agility......something is happening in this idea of mixing different people together: entrepreneurs, start-ups, not-for-profits. It's the idea that through diversity you tend to see better decisions and ideas......we know that an overused strength can become a weakness...... starting to question the status quo and experiment with different concepts and ideas..."

Rodd Cunico (Di Data) as quoted by Michael Bleby 2016

"...if you're going to make some investment in the future and don't know what the future looks like, and would like to shape how people think in an open minded way, why would you limit who comes in......at some stage you're going to have expect a return, whether it be curiosity on the part of your people for a preparedness to start with things..."

Rosemary Kirby as quoted by Michael Bleby 2016

Remember:

"...corporations are first and foremost social organisations, and the processes by which they do their business are social processes..."

Barbara Kellerman, 2002

Furthermore,

"...we could have the greatest strategies in the world. Without the right leaders developing and owning them, we'd get good-looking presentations and so-so results..."

Jack Welch as quoted by Jack Welch et al, 2001

"...lasting excellence in corporations seems to stem less from decisions about strategy than decisions about people......so what is the key thing you can do to prepare for......uncertainty" You can have the right people with you.......What we found in companies that make the good decisions is the debate is real.......Before making a decision, you would see significant debate..."

Work means more than money, as it fills such an important and central place in people's lives and determining our sense of self, ie confers status and defines success, so staff need to understand more than financial statements and/or the technical/operational aspects of their organisations. They need to be able to communicate, ie express their thoughts so that others understand their thinking, close the deal, build relationships, network, work as a team, collaborate, etc.. These are sometimes called the soft skills. There is increasing acknowledgment of the fundamental role of human resource and people issues (management and development) including leadership, empowerment, team work, cross-functional collaboration and people development issues.

 

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