John Hegel lll and John Seely Brown have written an article titled ‘Six Fundamental Shifts in the Way We Work’ on HBR blog. The article summarizes the ideas from their new book – The Power of Pull.
The six shifts they talk about:
- The Red Queen was optimistic – The red queen in Through the Looking-Glass said – “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” However as it turns out we are running ever faster but still losing ground. The authors claim that despite long-term increase in labor productivity, the average return on assets of US companies have steadily fallen to almost a quarter of what it was in 1965.
- Value ain’t where it used to be – The source of value creation is changing from stocks to flows of knowledge and the means of value creation from push to pull.
- Asia is the new global center of innovation – Westerners generally have a narrow view of innovation, limiting it to breakthrough technology and product innovations. There’s a need to expand beyond product, process, and management innovation to institutional innovation.
- The collaboration curve supplants the experience curve – As collaborative working comes of age, we may, for the first time, have an opportunity to turn diminishing returns performance improvement into increasing returns. The World of Warcraft game is a wonderful example of this.
- The “Dilbert Paradox” holds the key – CEOs cite talent as their number one priority, yet Dilbert cartoons, which actually depict our workplaces suggest otherwise, are very popular suggesting that people find the actual workplaces are closer to what Dilbert depicts. Authors believe the paradox arises as CEOs focus on hiring and retaining the best talent but not on developing them.
- Passion is everything – Passion drives the questing disposition that is essential to employee performance as they react to the inevitable unexpected challenges today’s work environment presents. The authors’ survey shows that just 20% people in organizations think they are passionate about their work. And this ratio is lower in larger organizations.
The article has many embedded links that support authors’ claims and connect to equally interesting articles. You should read the whole article to get a complete picture.
In a nutshell the ones mentioned above are very important trends that we need to take note of and try structure our organizations around. Easier said than done but there’s no alternative.
Is Training Changing?
The article has a strong view, advising us to take a long, hard look at how we manage our organizations’ structures, processes, talent, and collaboration. Even though the pace of change within training is not rapid as of now, but it will only increase from here
I expect the future of training to be shaped sharply by the above listed trends and the advancements in learning technology itself. There is much for business leaders to focus on, and training is one of the important parts of the matrix. Training needs to call for a redefinition of its purpose, process, and structure. Mobile Learning and Social Learning will perhaps be the two biggest elements of an individual’s personal learning environment in the future and both of these only further emphasize the power of pull.