I spend a lot of time writing on things close to my heart. Take a look atGenerator Consulting, and the categories my posts are grouped under – the subjects I’ve covered range across the board and reflect me pretty well.
Dig a little deeper though, and you see the bigger subject underpinning almost them all. And that’s change.
Last week’s post was no exception. Ostensibly a blog about keeping millennials happy at work, in the course of this week it’s become clear what I was really writing about was change in the workforce. I didn’t realise that at first – but you guys certainly did. I got a lot of feedback on that post, much, much more than usual – almost all seeing it as a manifesto for getting the most out of ANY generation in the workplace – regardless of age or category.
Looking at it this way, I was actually writing about change in the workplace and the impact on incumbents. The workplace is being disrupted, and just like my conclusions when looking at other areas of disruption, it turns out organisations demonstrating best in class business practices to their workforce are likely to come out ahead.
But what about the workers themselves? If work (and the very nature of work) is being disrupted, what can employees do to protect themselves and ensure the organisation continues to cherish them? In a word (well, three actually) – they need to keep adding value…
There are two ways for employees to view their current position. One is:
- My sector is screwed
- And even if I survive digital armageddon, I’m only going to lose my job to a robot
Possibly more helpful is this:
- Digital disruption means digital opportunity
- And all that digital disruption is actually taking us into the world of abundance
(If you like the look of Abundance – and trust me, it’s a great book – be sure to check out Bold… same authors and similar philosophies).
No matter what lens you view the world through, there is no escaping this – change is here, it will not relent, and whatever skills you have today will not be enough in the future.
I know, I tend to bang on about this stuff. But don’t just take it from me. Here’s the World Economic Forum and their recent Future of Jobs report. You’ll note it’s north of 150 pages – so I’ve helpfully precis’d their comparison of relevant skills in 2015 versus 2020. You’ll also note 2020 is only four years away (something about the relentless pace of change again), so it’s worth spending time doing a personal stocktake around these skills…
Finally, as a variation on my usual Takeaways… what advice would I give to anyone (yes that’s right, not just millennials) in today’s workforce?
- Always add value
- Work with and for people and organisations who give you energy
- Keep learning
- Challenge everything
- Stand for something
- Always ask ‘what problem am I solving’
- Learn to make the complex simple
- Take risks
- Give back. It’s an oldie but a goodie – but what goes around comes around.
- Be inquisitive and curious beyond your expertise. Explore the world, and leave your bubble
- Build networks. Then learn, connect, and add value to the network.
- Learn to sell