There’s no question we are living and working in head spinning times.
On one hand we have major challenges with world and local events (politics, traumatic events) – on the other we have major progress being made with movements led by change makers (diversity, equality, protection laws).
It’s easy to get swept up in the negative as we head to an uncertain future – we can worry about our safety and we can believe that robots are taking jobs and we can worry about what the future means for us personally.
Technological innovation coupled with a ‘people first’ focus has the potential to completely transform our lives, our industries and ultimately the world.
(Don’t believe me? Check out Peter Diamondis book, Abundance – The Future is Better Than You Think)
Let’s take a look at some positives for the future as it relates to leaders, teams and entrepreneurs.
Leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to guide and lead the change towards transformational business. The future of work is here now – strategies and plans made now can determine whether a business will win the war for talented people or remain relevant in its industry.
What’s next for leaders is a new way of thinking about people and reconfiguring the business to be people focused on a whole new level- for example:
- Recognizing the need for ‘incentives’ and ‘inspiration’ to increase people engagement companies such as AirBnB give their team members $2000.00 annual travel allowance to stay in an AirBnB anywhere in the world. Netflix offers unlimited parental leave and in office theatre to show upcoming Netflix features. Both of these solutions are aligned with the brand and increases connection between brand and employee which increases the desire to work for the company. It goes beyond pay – its about creating community within the company.
- Shifting thinking about people as necessary to get work done to thinking about people as gifts – that’s right leaders need to be grateful for the people who work for them and show them they care. This requires empathy, compassion and willingness to really understand the people who work for you.
What’s next for teams is a new way of working together, for example:
- Each team member needs to build his or her multiple intelligence – this includes emotional intelligence, creative intelligence, personalities intelligence, generations intelligence and technological intelligence. Teams of the future are fast moving, agile and innovative and that means every person on the team needs to step up his or her game to be a highly contributing member of the team.
- Teams need to be able to shift focus and shift team dynamics rapidly – with the rise of freelance and contract workers teams are increasingly diverse – team members need to adopt and integrate new people and new dynamics into the team rapidly and effectively.
With the increase of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and contractors we need to look at whats next:
- Entrepreneurs/freelancers/contractors need to be hyper vigilant about one focus – ‘adding value’ – this means that its not enough to just say yes to a job or a contract or an opportunity. In order to be a highly valued asset to companies hiring entrepreneurs – the entrepreneur needs to find ways to add value beyond the norm. For example you might have agreed to a contract to help with social media for a company and prior to creating the social media calendar you researched competitors social media feeds and created a matrix to show your strategy as opposed to the competitors.
- The freelance economy is expected to triple in the next few years – Gen Z’s and Millennials are flocking to working on contracts rather than full time jobs. As the entrepreneur economy expands the people with the most developed ‘people skills’ will be the most successful. Its not enough to be tech savvy and to get stuff done quickly – employers want people who can get along well with other people, who can communicate in multiple forums such as face to face, on virtual calls, email, text and IM. Gen Z’s and Millennials would benefit from rounding out their ability to connect and communicate with diverse personalities and ages in order to increase success in the future of work.
Stay tuned for more in depth thoughts on these topics and for the upcoming NextMapping Blog, VLOG and Podcasts on what’s next for leaders, teams and entrepreneurs.