* To our dearest followers, this past post (April 2 2014) has been enhanced with new ideas and updates. We hope you enjoy it!
The Workplace of the Future: How Only Innovative Companies Can Keep Up?
When I’m looking around, when I talk with friends, colleagues and clients the only thing that I can be sure of is that changement is everywhere. It’s happening quickly and in such a transformative manner that everyone has to keep up to stay ahead or just keep the head out of the water. Some companies do it like breathing while other struggle and even fail. Only innovative companies, working with the right people embrace change and are aware of the why’s and how’s stand a chance to thrive in the future. Therefore if you wanna be Innovative, I give you a two legs advice : acknowledge the 8 major changes here below and know what are the features an innovative companies will be made of.
Major Changes Companies must acknowledge
If you don’t want your company to be left behind by our fast-paced, technological world, you have to be aware of the major forces that can affect companies in the near future:
1. Changing workforce demographics. Thanks to immigration and the reverse pyramid demography, there will come a time where people from different generations, culture and ethnicities will work in the same firms. With such diverse backgrounds, ideas and interests you can be sure that issues and thus amazing opportunities will come up.
2. We need more than brains. It’s no longer a question of which university you attended or that PhD. Knowledge isn’t enough to guarantee a professional career; nowadays people need to have competencies in leadership, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and efficiency. You cannot always learn those abilities in school.
3. Smaller world. Thanks to globalization, the world is now so interconnected that location may not be a problem if you want to hire someone. Innovative companies may also want to move headquarters to countries that are better-equipped to support forward-thinking businesses.
4. Emergence of the virtual office. Working from home is now normal and in the future it could be optimal. What’s more, the cloud is now an essential part of the workplace. You need self-motivated people who know about IT, data, the cloud and managing security for your content.
5. Everyone needs a smartphone or a tablet. Innovative companies can benefit from handing their staff smartphones or tablet. Managing so many tasks in a day can be easy with the right apps and services. Tablets or phones can even be used for training and research.
6. Collaborative approach to innovation and business development. Thanks to crowd funding, crowd sourcing and other participatory techniques to gain feedback and capital for ventures, the future may see consumers dictating what they want directly to the company.
7. Corporate social responsibility. Since people are more aware of the state of the world through social media and the internet even before they enter the workplace, they prefer companies that give back to the community as their first and probably best job.
8. Gen Z. These are the “Digital Natives” born into a world where they are highly “connected,” having had lifelong use of communication and technology like the internet, Social Media and Smart phones. They live in a world where innovative companies are the norm. Companies need to attract, satisfy and work with this new generation. This generation is looking for a cause, leadership, vision and purpose.
The Workplace of the Future: what could we expect?
In a few years, these could be the things you’ll see in innovative companies. Make sure you’re one of them:
1. Reputation capital is more important than ever. Instead of tenure and good office politicking, professionals need connections, personal branding and apparent expertise. It’s more competitive than ever.
2. Clear vision and purpose. Get all your organization, as well as external partners on board! Your purpose needs to go beyond the scope of your business. Be patient, this may take several years.
3. Smart offices. A mobile phone or tablet can be your office. You work from home, in the public transport and at your co-working office. With such powerful SaaS solutions, apps and services on board, you can basically do anything from everywhere.
4. People first, processes next and then ideas. Creating your dream team will make the difference. Don’t focus on ideas or projects. First find the right people to create ideas and manage your projects.
5. Intrapreneurship, experimentation and open innovation. I strongly believe that future innovative companies will promote intrapreneurship and a global open innovation approach. Innovative companies will share their knowledge, they will accept failure and learn from it, they will experiment and regularly change the way they innovate.
6. Lots of people, but not always qualified. Not enough people are learning what the future demands. Certain fields are popular now but might be obsolete in the future. Organisation will focus on those 4 main skills: creativity, collaboration (team spirit), storytelling and efficiency (process optimisation).
7. Lifelong learners are required. Since shifting markets and fast-paced technology are going to characterize the future, people might be required to learn and unlearn a lot of things to keep up with the rapid changes.
8. Social networking. I think this is already happening thanks to medias like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes, this is the only way companies look for new staff or to promote their product and services. But don’t forget that the best way to do business development is your network. Go outside and meet real people!
9. Storytelling is key. Creating a strong corporate culture is very much about a cause. If your employees and external partners believe in your cause they will build further on this. Companies will have hero’s and intrapreneurs sharing a purpose with everyone.
Not all of these predictions and forecasts can come to fruition but you cannot deny that innovative companies are the only ones that will come out on top in the future. You should have a clear vision and purpose, work with respect, foster creative empowerment and be ready to offer your recruits a great/flexible working environment and employment package if you want to attract the best.
Please share this insight to inspire people to work with more passion and lead with creativity. It’s free like this article. Thank you 🙂