What the Future of Work Means For Us Now

Maven hosts panel of business and innovation specialists to discuss the workplace of the future.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 12, 2017— Last month, Maven convened a panel of experts to address a billion dollar question that affects us all: what is the future of work? Corporate executives, consultants and strategists joined in a Virtual Ideation Panel (VIP) to discuss how companies and the US workforce will likely adapt to an increasingly automated and instant-communication-based future.  Our team chose Maven’s unique VIP product to structure the interaction because it supports rich, collaborative and free-flowing discussions among participants that remain organized while growing organically.

On the first day of the VIP, panelists categorized the root causes of instability in the workplace into three main failures: insufficient clarity in communication, defective organizational design and lack of aligned goals. Several panelists reiterated that hiring and talent management are key factors to a company’s success and that companies must take into consideration the rise of freelance and independent work in their recruiting and retention efforts; as more skilled workers become independent, hiring practices and talent-retention efforts will no longer be regimented employer-diktat focused, but instead the employer must promote practices that attract top talent.

The panel also examined current solutions in the marketplace aimed at meeting these needs. Panelists discussed the rise of collaborative communication platforms like Google Applications, Slack, Skype and Real Presence Video conferencing. Additionally, panelists addressed the hot-button issue of automation displacing workers and how that will affect the economy and America’s workforce.  They also considered the impact of new types of workers (such as seasonal workers and retirees) entering the broader workforce.  One particularly compelling insight concerned the need to reimagine how performance assessments can help both the employer and the employee improve role suitability. Suzanne White noted one way she has seen performance reviews function to support the culture and operations of the business:

“Our annual reviews were based on 1) contribution to the company 2) contribution to self, and 3) contribution to colleagues – equally balanced and not in any order. So, our performance bonuses and compensation increases were 1/3 based on what we did to help others. This was the best culture I have worked in because it caused people to think equally about others as they did themselves and how they were contributing to the bottom line … Until we can change the reward system from “I” based to “us” based, this is going to continue to kill our businesses.”

Finally, the expert panelists scoped out what they think the structure of a typical company will look like in 10 years. See the attached infographic for top ideas ranked by the expert participants themselves, and review the full conversation here.

Participants included:

About Maven 

Maven has built technology that figures out what people know and provides tools to learn from them. These tools include short surveys, phone discussions, online panels, and other ways to directly interact with all kinds of niche expertise or hard-to-reach experience, from rural farmers to Silicon Valley executives. With our community of over 500,000 professionals in every industry, Maven delivers on-demand expertise and powers customized knowledge discovery to provide clarity to your toughest challenges.

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