Wicked Thinking Conversation One 

Our pilot group of Wicked Thinkers gathered on 7 July and discussed the future of the world of work. Futurologist Nicola Millard helped the group think about the deaths of Dolly, Distance, Dilbert and Dr No, and the rise of Diversity and the Droid.

New blood in coming into the workforce that has very different perceptions of work, collaboration, technology. But those of us in work now will be working longer as we live longer. Age is no longer the only divider. We are not just looking at five generations of workers, but at looking at personality types – introverts versus extroverts – gender and culture. Our children are forming how they will work already as they collaborate, share knowledge and innovate, and even outsource, as they play Minecraft. We can look to more gamification of work, fluidity and choice, and different reward systems.

We are already seeing the change in our use of office space. Technology is untethering us, but freedom can bring loneliness. Technology will continue to get smaller, and may become part of us. Work will become activity based. Freedom to work anywhere could lead to exciting co-locations with colleagues in all sorts of different types of organisations across the sectors. Future employees will want to use the technology they are used to at home, what works, not just what the organisation says it can have, and as technology becomes part of us, the ability of organisations to say no will wither away

Work is not just no longer 9am-5pm, but literally 24/7 within our organisations and our teams, not just globally. We aren’t switching off. Work is impinging on our personal life. Multi-tasking is exhausting, and disruption reduces productivity. We will need better communication behaviours.

Automation will increase and hollow-out any job or part of a job that can be mapped in a series of steps. Caring, innovation and creativity will be left. We will be marketing our emotions. More people may be operating in micro-communities and bidding for lots of small pieces of work rather than ‘having a job’. We need to educate people to learn. Learning will be accessed from all sorts of sources, and future employees may be building personal brands from their learning.

How do you feel about all that? Let us know what you think. Get in touch via twitter @Engage4success or email us at content@engageforsuccess.org.

Thanks to our first Wicked Thinkers Group:

  • Nicola Millard, a Futurologist from BT
  • Sarah Billiald, MD of Collaborate and ex CEO of the Kent Probation Service
  • James Court-Smith, Data analyst and Director at Stillae Ltd
  • Phil Sargeant, Global Sales manager with ADP
  • Mark McKergow, Host Leadership.

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