NextMapping Future of Work Blog

Cheryl Cran

Welcome to the Future of Work blog – this is where you will find posts on all things related to the future of work.

We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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This Big Change Will Create The Future of Work

September 18, 2019

I am writing this from the Minneapolis airport where I have completed a series of keynotes for clients in the employee relocation industry, clients in the defense industry and clients in the federal government.

Although each of these industries may seem disparate and unalike the truth is that every single unique industry has commonalities with all industries.

The commonalities include having the same challenges such as:

  • Dealing with the ongoing and increasing pace of change
  • Attracting talented people
  • Retaining talented people
  • Creating an innovation culture
  • Moving from digital transformation to digital integration

The future of the workforce requires updated policies and creative solutions to help move employees within companies globally. One of the trends we have uncovered at NextMapping is a shift from a solely local workforce towards a globally mobile workforce.

The future workplace requires the defense industry to shift the narrative towards the good that they do in disaster relief. This requires a look at the trends of workers seeking to work in industries that are positively impacting the world.

The future workplace requires federal governments in every country to revisit policies and rules through a new strategic lens. The new strategic lens requires the focus to be on patterns in people’s behavior, technology advancements and simplification of processes.

Ultimately the single biggest change that is going to propel organizations into the next iteration of being future-ready is this:

Leaders and teams need to shift mindsets towards a people first solutions-focused future.

When leaders and teams make this big change it will create the future of work and quickly.

One of the patterns we find when working with our clients is that they do not have challenges with new technology, they do not have challenges with new systems their biggest challenge is “getting people on side with the future focus.”

Often after I deliver a keynote or facilitate a workshop on the future of work I have people ask :

“How do we get everyone to change their mindset about where we need to go?”

At NextMapping we help with the ‘how’. The future of work is not a concept its happening right now.

Every single policy shift, every single rule that gets reworked, every single time leaders coach a team member there is an incremental shift towards creating a new future.

The ‘how’ to make the big change of getting everyone’s mindset focused on future and solution includes:

  1. Leadership commitment to making a continual change to be future-ready now
  2. Leadership willingness to be coached on the components of being a change leader towards creating the future of work.
  3. Leadership providing resources in multiple forms to help team members shift their mindsets. Resources include mentoring, coaching, outsourced coaching, training both online and in-person, gamification of learnings.
  4. Consistent focus and communication on the ‘future mindset’ that is the new cultural norm.
  5. A cultural mandate to have a culture that is agile, open, innovative and collaborative.
  6. Reward and recognition for the ‘change leaders’ demonstrating creativity, agility, and innovation.

Today after I closed my keynote for the federal government client, two senior executives came to talk with me about the research and trends that were shared. One of them said, “we know that if we can shift a deeply embedded cultural mindset, we can shift our workforce to be future-ready”.

My response was this if leaders were to focus on one single strategic focus for the next year of helping to shift and support the mindsets of all workers there would be dramatic positive shifts in business overall.

The truth is many leaders and teams are busy dealing with what is right in front of them and use tactical thinking. Tactical thinking is, of course, important however what is needed is to help people elevate to strategic thinking.

In the past workers were not asked or required to think strategically – today and in the future it is imperative. A future-ready mindset requires a focus on future and opportunity, a willingness to look at the big picture, an ability to factor in other departments and other leaders, to move beyond silos and the ability for everyone to think like a leader.