Tomorrow’s Work Place

The August 20th edition of Business Week magazine will be featuring a cover story on “The Future of Work.” In this special double issue, they will discuss how we will master technology, manage companies, and build careers in the era of the global 24-7 workforce.

As part of this special project, Business Week conducted a poll of 2,000 Americans in middle management and above, 25 years and older. Here’s a short sampling of their findings.

90% of managers think they’re among the top 10% of performers in their workplace.

When asked which of the following scares those polled the most, they answered as follows:

 Men Women
My Computer 4% 7%
My Boss 6% 7%
My Spouse 11% 5%
Wall Street 27% 35%
China 52% 46%

More than 1 in 4 (25%) workers 55 and older say they expect to retire.

Only 1 in 10 (10%) under the age of 30 says the same.

6% of respondents under age 30 said they’ve accidentally called their boss Mom or Dad.

This special report also discuss “The Five Faces of the 21st Century Chief.” I found this article quite interesting as it predicted that the “generalist” CEO will give way to the “specialist” CEO, whether that’s a global networker or someone with a knack for assembling all-star teams. They’re also predicting five specialist CEO types to be in the greatest demand:

  • The BRAIN … May be algorithm geniuses, coding prodigies, or merely credentialed scientists or designers. CEOs in touch with their inner geeks will be a much sought-after breed.
  • The AMBASSADOR … CEOs with explicit business experience in emerging markets of China, India, Russia, Brazil and Dubai.
  • The DEALMAKER … Those able to both sell off non-core assets and go toe-to-toe with private equity players on big acquisitions will be in heavy demand.
  • The CONDUCTOR … Future companies will have to form alliances with outsiders and turn to networks of innovators for new ideas. More cooperation and creativity across divisions will also be necessary. This CEO will have to orchestrate everyone to play in the same key.
  • The CASTING AGENT … As Boomers retire, the talent wars will become fierce. CEOs who can retain the best people and deploy them adeptly will be hot commodities.

Think of the number of today’s CEOs who can’t honestly claim a strength in any one of those five areas.

Be sure to check out this issue of Business Week as it’s filled with articles reflecting the change of today’s workplace. They discuss the future of perks in the workplace, the no-cubicle culture, home-office-lab possibilities and the question of cog or co-worker?

If you happen to be one of those who won’t admit to constant change, simply pick up the newspaper and keep tabs on the number of articles you find in one issue that tells a different story. It was recently explained to me by an experienced MBA within a leading national organization that the realities of change didn’t actually apply to their current environment. They were too small and far too well-rooted in their current culture to be affected by the scare tactics of the change-mongers among us. I’m pretty certain there were people with very much that same attitude working for American Motors Corp., Trans World Airlines (TWA), and Montgomery Wards at one time. I wonder where they are today?

Want to learn more about broken molds, smashed time clocks, multidisciplinary projects, accordion staffing, freelance armies, mobile managers, and the just-in-time workforce? Don’t miss this captivating August 20th issue of Business Week.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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