At this year's SilkRoad Connections conference, keynote speaker Cheryl Cran challenged our attendees to upgrade their leadership operating systems to meet future work requirements. How can we change how we think, do, and share?
Twenty-First Century Changes and Challenges
The future of work will be about saying goodbye to blaming, bureaucracy, and bad leadership. Gen X, Gen Y, and Zoomers (baby boomers who refuse to age and retire) will work together to create an environment of shared leadership, freedom of expression, creativity, inspiration, and fun. And work will look very different. By 2020, 90 percent of employees will stay on the job three years or less, 50 percent will work remotely, and a majority will be independent contractors. Given these changes, the person who can embrace flexibility will have the most power.
Cran asked attendees about their top challenges related to HR and the future of work. Not surprisingly, they cited recruitment, retention, and skill development. We are fighting for talent globally and many twenty-first century skills such as creativity and agile leadership are sorely lacking. These skills are not natural and we have to teach them.
HR’s top three opportunities, according to Cran’s survey, are partnering, having a strategic advantage in the organization, and leading change. The biggest challenges, on the other hand, are transitioning to a fully digital andsocial mindset and mobile friendliness. In recent years, HR has made progress using dashboard analytics to get a real-time view of people and processes, and leveraging robotics to automate basic tasks, but there is still work to be done.
Cran pointed out the differences between the work environment of the past and that of the future. In the 1990s, for example, business was autocratic, centralized, task-focused, and based on the single perspective of the leader. But today and in the years to come, work will be shared, values-based, virtual, creative and revolutionary, and based on multiple perspectives.