It’s hard to think of a bigger topic than the future of work: it touches on every aspect of our economic and social life. Where and when we work, who we work with, and how we collaborate, share knowledge and organise ourselves: business leaders and managers need to preempt these questions, and they’re equally crucial to us as individuals.
Over the last few years, I've noticed that some of the standards of the creative sector - particularly the "Hollywood model" of crewing up with contract workers around specific projects - have made their way into the broader world of business, and have become commonplace.
The Vivid Ideas Future of Work conference, presented in partnership with the Centre for Workplace Leadership, explored how we need to update our “operating systems” to future-proof ourselves and our organisations for a radically different approach to building careers and businesses.
I brought together an audience of corporate, creative industries and social impact leaders across both buildings at Google HQ for a day of discussions and workshops exploring the role of leadership, values and culture in building progressive organisations that can thrive in the knowledge economy.
New research on the Australian job market, and the job search approach of Australians, was presented by Indeed.com marketing SVP Paul D’Arcy (check out this article summarising the seven key trends), a challenging new organisational style was introduced by Holacracy founder Brian Robertson, and insights into data-driven management by author Rahaf Harfoush.
The Financial Review amplified Robertson's call for more autonomy, less hierarchy for responsive, forward thinking businesses: and placed our discussion in the context of Australian managers' low ranking in OECD polls. Check it out here.
"The dynamics of the manager-employee pattern assumes we can't trust people to be autonomous and productive adults if left on their own," he said via live-stream from Philadelphia.
Some of the major trends our experts uncovered: job design and job share are the tools to meet the demands for flexibility being articulated by workers across the demographic spectrum: Sarah Liu from job design start-up Gemini3 shared research from their new whitepaper on the untapped potential of this workplace tool.
Online Gravity author Paul X McCarthy delved into the 'talent signatures' of knowledge economy 'giants' like Apple, Google, Amazon to expose the skills and qualities required for success: he shared that diversity, and alternative approaches to education, are crucial.
Leaders cast a shadow: our leaders from the world of creativity, technology and social impact explained the need to be an honest, vulnerable, playful force within their organisations.
Another key theme for the day was that the authentic, lived values of an organisation are the key drivers of success: systems and neural complexity specialist Dr Fiona Kerr explained that organisations with a strong values-base allow individuals to act with trust, certainty and confidence. Name your values, and reinforce them by your actions.
The Twitter conversation was very active - check out my Storify summary for more insights and feedback from the day.