How do we stay switched on at work?
I’ve been to a number of conferences recently where there is more talk of the impending doom that the digital world is going to bring to us. No doubt you will have read about the recent articles sharing how any role or job that involves repetition is at risk of being taken over by robots. These bold claims combined with our changing view of experts, following the shock of Brexit and the Trump election, means you could be forgiven into writing these claims off. We’ve also just read the eagerly awaited 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trend Report, and again the focus is on digitalisation. So, what does this all really mean?
There is a recognition that the way we had been doing things at work needs to start changing, to accommodate changes brought about by this new digital world.
Only a few years ago, learning and development for example, used to be entirely class room based, incorporating off-site training. Now there is a huge need for digital content, to tell me what I need to know, in short bursts, that will engage me, that I can access when I need it, to meet my needs. The dull, dry e-learning, which we’ve all experienced, is not how people want to learn. Learning has to become part of how we live our lives. We have high powered laptops and phones at home, why wouldn’t we expect to have the same at work?
The trends highlighted in the Deloitte report focus on various aspects of work, including Leadership where I believe we are seeing, or will need to see, a paradigm shift. The concept of Servant Leadership isn’t a new one. We are all in business to better serve our customers, but this digital age has made us more aware that unless our internal customers – our colleagues, are experiencing great things, when we need their talent and skills, their engagement to make the difference, we will not deliver this ambition. There’s a great quote from Richard Branson “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” This has never been truer.
What does this all mean? It’s simple. Leadership needs to change, as hierarchy cannot work like it did. Tony Hsieh from Zappos was thought of as crazy by a number of experts when he introduced the concept of Holocracy to his workplace. Whether it worked or not, he recognised that the current way of working, isn’t working. We need to be brave in this new world. We need to break down barriers and join the journey of aligning work with life together.
Involving every aspect of the organisation is the only way we will succeed – aligning how we work, with how we live, ensuring the digital age is far from a shock, but a natural transition to the way we live our lives.
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