6 Radical Work Changes Coming In Next 10 Years: Are You Ready?

Is your organization prepared for increasingly chaotic work environments in the next ten years?

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The lines between work and non-work have already frayed and will continue to unravel. Gartner, Inc. predicts that the world of work will witness ten key changes through 2020.

6 Key Changes Shaping The World Of Work

Here are six of Gartner’s ten key changes that will shape the next decade of work.

1. De-Routinization Of Work

Discovery, innovation, leadership, learning, sales–all skills that cannot be automated–will dominate. By 2015, 40% or more of an organization’s work will be non-routine, up from 25% in 2010.

Takeaway: Associations will place more emphasis on finding employees with high emotional IQ that can professionally master these soft-skills. Organizations that have not automated rote, routine processes will have difficulty competing.

2. From Lone-Ranger Solos To Work Swarms

Everyone and anyone available will swarm together to add value to collective work activities. Unlike teams of the past where employees are familiar with each other and have worked with one another, swarms of adhoc employees form quickly, attack a problem and disperse.

Takeaway: Successful employers trust and empower employees to do the right thing and solve issues as they arise. Silos fade as work revolves around projects.

3. Weak Links

Employees will leverage personal and professional social networks to exploit both strong and weak links. Weak links are critical to survival and using influence for organizational success.

Takeaway: Associations will encourage employees to mine their social networks for knowledgeable and influential people that can assist with organizational efforts.

4. Working With The Collective

Informal groups of people, outside of direct control of the organization, can influence the success or failure of an organization. Smart leadership discerns how to succeed in a system beyond their control and influence others positively. They tap the wisdom and market intelligence of the collective. They also use the collective to help define markets, segments, products and services.

Takeaway: Associations acknowledge that social networks and communities outside of their membership have great power. Successful organizations partner with and leverage those groups instead of competing with, discounting or trying to silence them.

5. Pattern Sensitivity

Extrapolating from history and experience will become less reliable. Employees that are able to quickly identify and evaluate divergent emerging patterns and predict outcomes will be highly valued. They will inform the C-Suite on how to exploit these changes or protect the organization from them.

Takeaway: Associations cannot depend on past performance for future success. They will have to remove bureaucratic red tape that keeps them from being nimble and adapting quickly.

6. My Place

The workplace is becoming more virtual, across time zones. Company-provided offices and desks will decrease. Work will happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The lines between personal, professional, social and family matters, along with organization subjects, will fade.

Takeaway: Associations should start preparing now to decrease physical office space and overhead and embrace more remote employees. This will ultimately decrease expenses and free more money for programs and services.

Which of these six changes will be the most difficult for association leadership to adopt? What will happen to associations that cannot adapt to these changes?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Hurt and others. Jeff Hurt said: 6 Radical Work Changes Coming In Next 10 Years: Are You Ready? #eventprofs #pcma http://ow.ly/3vcVs […]

  2. Hi Jeff – I think #3 and #4 will be the most challenging for leadership to adopt because they are outside the company (the other items are all internal) and that may cause more unease.

    I think that it’s more of a leadership challenge than an employee challenge as many employee are already doing this and working around the system as needed.

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      So true, so true. Many employees are already working around the system as needed. I’m with you that these are leadership challenges with changing times. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  3. Watch out for the effects of #6. As associations move toward more remote workers, many will shift from hiring employees to outsourcing.

    So, workers will receive lower compensation, be required to pay their own insurance and purchase their own equipment, and not receive any benefits.

    Since they’ll be forced to become freelancers, they’ll also have to learn about marketing, sales, and other matters they never had to know about. It will be a very bad trend for many people.

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      I agree that some associations will move towards outsourcing and we’ll see an increase in free agents and consultants. Some will welcome the transition. Others will definitely have challenges with it. It will be interesting to watch for sure.

  4. Hi Jeff;

    It’s very cool to know that I’m already ahead of the curve as I manage the official blog of Sprout Social (a Chicago start up) from a remote office in BC.

    Particularly empowering are items #3 and #4 from your list. These type of community building activities, using one’s own established personal brand in conjunction with the corporate brand, will become as important a prerequisite as the ability to use a computer once was, not so long ago.

    Who knows where it will all end up but for now I’m sure enjoying the ride of this very new and evolving employee/employer paradigm.


    – Don

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Kudos to you and your team for being ahead of the curve. I’m with you that an important prerequisite will be someone’s social brand and footprint. Our social network is becoming like a social resume. At least that’s how I am seeing it.

  5. roger says:

    I believe that a major change will take place in area of politics including facets of all 6 areas. Community Groups will come together to propose or appose EFFECTIVELY politcal decisions. From student fees to railway projects.

    Companies will project their pressence and brands through social networking.

    Governments will agregate personal data to determine the decisions that will/may win votes.

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