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Future of Work: Transformation is an inside job first

NearU

17 Nov, 2022

Transformation is an inside job first.

By Bettina Laux (Communications & Future Work Skills Consultant, Bettina Laux Consulting)


The most powerful way to transform and future-proof yourself, your team and your business is to start within your own “castle”: your mindset.

Here are three perspectives on the impact of following this approach for creating your future of work – rather than being a recipient of external circumstances. And why it is important to take a close look at whether your learning strategy is aligned with your future business strategy.

Mindset ONE: if you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.

A quote by Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State – and I couldn’t agree more: if you don’t start thinking about how work will be done in your company (AI, robotics, automation…) and who is doing the work (full-time, part-time employees, crowdsourcing, gig workers..), it will soon become very hard for you to prepare your workforce for rapid changes.

The key to any successful learning strategy that takes your people with you on that journey is to know exactly what skills are required for your future business model. Otherwise, you will be lost in space: not only with your training budgets, but confused employees who don’t know how to deal with the complexity and change, as well as with unstructured learning programs hitting their desk. You leave them feeling unsafe. The opposite of what you want to achieve with a good future skill program! So, the key is identify what your current and future business model requires in terms of skills: hard skills as well as the even more important soft skills such as self-efficacy, flexibility and creativity.

Mindset TWO: the future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.

New skills are required to gain more flexibility in the way jobs evolve, change, or become something completely different. Digital knowledge becomes crucial. The ability to adapt and deal with complex surroundings is a fundamental necessity for both organisations and their employees to be in their full potential and thrive. Reframing existing programs, adding new content, delivery methods and approaches so that learning and building new skills become a natural part of the skill set of teams, will now become crucial to success and transformation.

If content is king, conversation is queen. How does that apply to your company’s learning strategy? Communication is a key success factor. It is not only about creating great content and learning programs. Even more important is to start (re-)connecting with your people: let them know the bigger picture of why you do something, get them on board. Have dialogues. We are hard-wired for connection, and especially in uncertain times, we even more strongly look for that connection.

Mindset THREE: empower your people by giving choice when & where the job is done.

Future of work is also about creating options for people, fostering self-responsibility and self-efficacy. Companies who want to have a successful connection with their workforce, need to change in the way they create working environments.

There is a big difference in how you perceive these two options: “we want you to be in the office for two days” versus “we offer two compensation packages: one for full-time home office workers and one for full-time office workers”. Choice is generating a space for people to create a working style that meets their needs best. More than one reason that would make you a great company to work with because you treat me like an adult.

While there are different statistics about home office lovers and haters, there is not one option that fits all. Do invest into creating space for people to truly connect. The office is not dead. It is the most attractive space to connect and co-create. Relight the fire for it.

What is the key take away? Everything starts with one aspect: How you consider change. Is it an opportunity for you and your people or a threat? It is about your mindset - transformation is an inside job, first. Let’s start there, so that the other pieces of the future of work can be used in powerful ways to (co-) create change in the way we design business, work and live sustainably on this planet.


This post was written by Bettina Laux, Communications & Future Work Skills Consultant at Bettina Laux Consulting. We are publishing it to highlight the interesting insights she surfaced about the nature of transformation needed to shape the future of work.


This article is part of ‘Future of Work’ - a series of guest articles discussing the latest ideas and insights around the future of work with key figures pioneering the future.


Biography:

Bettina Laux has two decades of success in various marketing and HR scenarios in automotive and IT industry. Since starting her own business in 2017, she has been deploying her skills as a strategist and project manager to devise and implement communication strategies and concepts for corporate clients of various sizes. She says about herself: “my approach is authentic, pure and real. I love what I do.” She does.