As the matter of fact, the only constant in our lives seems to be change.
Tonight I took part in HBR chat, under the topic From Corporate Ladder to Lattice. The main idea is that, not only our life, hobbies, targets of interest and how we carry them change - but also and even more so, our work is under a radical change.
The workplace isn't what it used to be--and neither is the workforce. Today's companies have fewer hierarchical layers. The nature of work is also more virtual, collaborative, and transparent than at any previous time. -HBRIn my mind those two have a strong connection. It doesn't matter what you do for a living, in order to proceed in your career, you need the constant change.
Bus driver 2.0
If you're a bus driver, instead of gasoline, your new vehicle might use natural gas or even electronic batteries. And as you drive along, traffic lights favor you: thanks to the new technology allowing the integration of the satellite - GPS - traffic light system(F). Sustainable development in mind: the less you need to wait with your motor running, the less you cause exhaustive fumes and pollute the nature.
If you started your career some 20 years ago, there's been a huge change, at least in your mind!
Knowledge worker 2.0
Even bigger is the distance between the old office worker in comparison with today's knowledge worker. Back in 1997 when I started with the Tax Administration, the departments received their instructions on paper. Bulletins were pinned on a board for every one. - Today everything comes in email, 2-10 times a day, and the highlights for customers are also published on our website.
My boss explained to me at my first week: "Our PC's are all new: last year (or so) we had just one PC in a team of 8-12 workers." -Today I have a laptop and a Nokia E90, and emails reach me through both those devices.
Outsourcing the reason?
But these are not the only changes around. In the name of productivity organizations are cutting back fixed costs. Good bye secretaries, good bye bookkeepers and ladies who used to calculate our salaries or arrange our business trips and so on. All the assisting work is being outsourced. The question is, do we really gain or lose on this track?
Today I need to operate on three separate applications in order to report my working hours, prepare for the development discussions and approve the invoices. (There is no OpenID, no common logic or user experience. People, even bosses make the coffee, since there are no more secretaries..)
On the other hand, I love to update the campaign site myself, instead of giving the text to someone to copy-paste and then do it all over again because I'm not happy with the layout. - Not all agree with my point of view. How do you feel about it?
Social media is Collaboration!
For us knowledge workers this is a golden era. Social media tools enable us to group with like minded people. In "tribes" we can learn more efficiently on the subjects we're all interested in and also share our expertise with other Like Minds.
In essence, it is this bigger picture that tonight's HBRchat was about:
Conversationalists brought up open dialogue, collaboration and transparency. As things become more transparent, strategy and sharing values are an essential part of the new leadership. Finally, stepping stones to the new career are constant learning, pushing the edges and a somewhat entrepreneurial mindset that flourishes with trust.
The motto for the new worker could be, as @bennydu put it:
Always be humble, open-minded, never stop learning! Coach Wooden said: "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts"If you're interested what else was said, you'll find the hashtagged Tweets in Topsy