Simon Cross describes the six principles that will allow businesses to succeed in a future fraught with rapid change and uncertainty
Amid universal unease and unprecedented global challenges, business leaders everywhere are asking, “How do I build a resilient organization?”
Empowered customers switch brands in a second. Competition and category disruption can come out of the blue from startups. Product commoditization and technological change happen at breathtaking speed.
At Workplace, we’ve been thinking long and hard about the future, and we’ve identified six attributes we believe will be at the heart of successful organizations. One factor that unites all six: people.
Many businesses assume that the future of work will be rooted in technology. And it’s true that technology – from cloud-based software to AI, 5G and the Internet of Things – will play an important role. But when we at Workplace think about the future of work, we’re doing it through the lens of people. More important than technology will be our ability to unlock human potential by putting the needs and expectations of people at the heart of all we do.
One reason technology alone won’t create future-proofed organizations is that much of what we use at work today is rooted in the past. Look at email. Over three-quarters of companies think email is ineffective for communications. But it’s still the most ubiquitous tool in most offices – despite some strange properties.
Like the “Cc” line. “Cc” stands for “carbon copy,” which refers to a type of inked stock placed between sheets of paper that responded to the pressure of writing or typing, producing copies. You could stick the copies in a box, have your secretary pick them up, and circulate them around the office.
Carbon paper was invented in 1801. So what’s it doing in the modern workplace? It’s there because the tools we use today trace back to the 1970s, when pioneering computer scientists built the earliest productivity software for the personal computing era. They took the world they knew, a world of ink and printing and out-trays, and they made digital representations that we carry with us today.