I've recently made a very smart move. I included in my organizational network a 'technology futurist'. What in the world is that? In our case, Dottie looks at the technologies, trends and ways of thinking currently considered and used by various educational systems. She concentrates (for her University, her K-12 clients, and for us) on those technologies and trends which will impact what the workplace needs to look like going forward. Dottie is affiliated with the higher eductational system and works as a technology liason between the K-12 system and a major East Coast University. A perfect background for understanding what the kids of today will want and need for in the workplace of the future.
Just last night we had a conversation about the impact of 'centers of knowledge'-- areas in where the most educated might congregate and how that will impact talent acquistion and retention in more remote areas. Of course we discussed what impact technology might have on allowing people to work remotely, facilitating remote collaboration and learning and even in bringing the eductational and cultural events desired to those who live in areas far flung from big city hubs.
The conversations are stimulating and interesting, but more then that they are critical. In my work I feel comfortable helping people develop processes to capture and transfer knowledge of retiring workers and to transfer that knowledge across generational and cultural boundaries. But, am I helping my clients prepare for the fast approaching workplace of the future? No, not without the input of someone like Dottie.
I need, (actually we all need), to be preparing for a workplace in 5-10 years that is much different then we now have. What does that look like? Technologically linked most certainly. Even small businesses may be more global in nature as the supply chain is contiually broadened. I don't know yet what it all entails but what I do know is that part of my job is to understand and to help you at least consider....stay tuned. The future is coming. Let's discuss.