Maven’s public Virtual Ideation Panel on the Future of Work got off to an explosive start this Tuesday and continued throughout the evening. Our diverse panel of experts tackled the topic of how work “works” today: What do today’s companies need the most? How do they utilize human capital, and how is it different from the past?
Several panelists mentioned the way a corporate employee used to clock in, clock out, and do that with the same company for a lifetime. Now, however, work is not necessarily defined by a place you go, it is something you do.
“Key to this is shifting our paradigm about work from tasks and activities to end goals and results. We continue to hold fast to the traditional model of work driven by manufacturing, where we see work as tasks performed, in a given timeframe,” notes Karen Swim. That model no longer works for “companies to remain nimble and be able to respond to market changes. If your org is nimble, you can move resources around to support whatever business model you need to operate under today,” says Suzanne White.
However, this kind of flexibility requires a great deal of clarity in everything from organizational design and goal alignment to hiring practices. Several panelists mentioned the need for to revisit hiring and talent management as key factors to a company’s success, while taking into consideration that freelance and independent work is on the rise. Still, “even though the point is well taken that freelancers will dominate the future workplace, it will be even more essential that managers know how to attract, develop, and retain these highly talented freelancers. And managers can’t utilize the same ineffective, out-dated employer-focused practices that may have been adequate in the past,” says Glenn Powell.
Returning focus to customers and employees, Tim Cowan notes: “I think there are 3 constituencies that must be kept in balance – customers, employees and shareholders. A company that cares only about profit loses customers and employees over time.”
You can read the full, expansive discussion here. Thank you to all our panelists! Looking forward to what insights tomorrow brings.
Reading List (books mentioned today):
“Inventing the Future” by Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek
“The Alliance” by Reid Hoffman
“Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World” by John P. Kotter
“The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen