Tim Callington, from the Orange Future Enterprise Coalition (OFEC) gave me a heads up about a report they just launches called, "The way to work: space, place and technology in 2016", which explores how the way we work will change over the next decade. It’s pretty interesting stuff, so I thought I would share it with you. Here’s the summary he shared:
It concludes that businesses should prioritize managing intellectual property and flexibility of work time and location to control change over the next 10 years. The Coalition has designed four future "worlds´ of work, scenarios depicting what organizations may look like by 2016. The scenarios are defined by the relationship between workers and employers. Based on the scenarios and to help businesses plan for the future, the report also sets out seven factors to focus on when developing business strategy.
1. "Disciples of the Cloud": Businesses control all intellectual property and determine where and when work takes place.
2. "Electronic Cottages": Businesses control all intellectual property, but workers are able to determine where, when and how they work.
3. "Replicants": Businesses depend on specialist consultants, their expertise and intellectual property. Work is much less predictable and reliable, but workers are free to choose where, when and how much they work.
4. "Mutual Worlds": Businesses operate as cooperatives of independent contractors. Intellectual property is controlled by workers, who focus on small local ventures, often connected to networks of similar ventures elsewhere to give scale.
SEVEN STRATEGY RECOMMENDATIONS:
Innovation: Maintain an external focus and engage with others outside your organization, your sector as well as your customers. Share the costs and fruits of innovation with strategic partners where possible. Move away from deploying innovations from the top down, give areas of your business freedom to trial and refine multiple innovations on a smaller scale.
Culture: Create a culture that recognizes and complements the values of increasingly empowered employees at all levels. Build on successful core competencies as well as recognize and respond quickly when things can be done better elsewhere. In the context of a more fragmented workforce, understand the limits and relevance of "implementing´ a corporate culture and move towards a more consensual style engagement.
Leadership: Re-evaluate the role of management in your organization. Look for ways to make management an enabling force for activity taking place across the organization, rather than solely a decision function.
Quality: Continue to champion quality, of course. But also look at how to champion good service design, which embeds quality in delivery, or even co-creates it with its end-users.
Operation & technology: Create a map which includes the story of how your world is changing and why – and what the critical stepping stones will be. It is important that your roadmap allows for divergent future outcomes and that there is spare capacity inside or outside your company to explore these.
Brand: Understand the model which matches the value you deliver – and have a risk management program which understands where the conflicts are likely to flare.
Regulation: Work with others in your sector, and your regulators, to develop models of the workplace of the future — and collaborate on building the most effective regulatory regimes for them. Develop an understanding of and engage with the relevant interest groups and NGOs that increasingly influence policy making.
The report includes some interesting diagrams and is very well presented. I am working with a company right now on how to be a better virtual organization – which might be a combination between an electronic cottage and mutual world. If you have any books or resources you would recommend in this topic area, please let us know in a comment.
Check out the report here (Scroll down to "The Way to Work").