As we enter the Digital Era, it is becoming clear that the ways in which we work — vestiges of the Industrial Age — must shift and adapt to meet the demands of this new time.
The fact remains, however, that what that future will look like is an evolving concept. The Future of Work is fundamentally an exploration as we break the hierarchical models of the past focused on repetitive activities, and investigate new, more dynamic, adaptable, and collaborative ways of working that embrace our humanness.
The Digital Era is pushing the nature of value creation away from operational optimization to the delivery of differentiated, but continually shifting customer experiences.
This shift is demanding the continual evolution of business and operating models, which, in turn, requires that organizations infuse adaptability and flexibility into the way they perform and manage work.
This will almost certainly lead organizations to adopt various forms of self-organization and self-management, perhaps in matrixed management models, to support a highly collaborative and dynamic workforce that is free to unleash its creativity, imagination, and empathy.
Why It Matters
Throughout the industrial age, the need to produce mass products for a mass market demanded the execution of highly repetitive tasks in a consistent and reliable manner.
As a result, society trained generations of workers to become, in effect, human robots. Today, technology is making it possible to automate these routine and repetitive tasks. Anything we can reduce to an algorithm, we will automate.
This fact will dramatically change the work that we value from employees, and how our customers perceive the value we deliver through our products and services by shifting it to our ability as individuals and organizations to connect on a human level.
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