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Solving for the future

While we figure out new ways to work, technology continues to advance and automation is being weaved into our everyday lives.

The way of the future is accessibility with simplicity in mind to bring a seamless experience by leveraging technology to fill in the gaps. Today’s workforce is changing and people are being selective in the careers of choice to focus more on the value of life. This is creating a shift in the resources available, resulting in skill gaps and reduced manpower available to fill jobs.

AI will automate a number of jobs but it won’t replace everything as outlined in 6 AI Myths Debunked published by Gartner. Taking stock of what needs to change now will prepare businesses to thrive for years to come. For instance, self-check-outs are increasing and grab-and-go models are being introduced. It will be interesting to learn how this will impact retail and grocery store shopping.

Business enablement will reengineer the traditional ways of working, shopping and traveling by implementing the latest advances in delivering, selling and servicing. The Forbes 1000 summit opened up conversations on how small businesses can thrive and propel forward with the right tools and resources. While the pandemic created a number of businesses to close, there were a record number of new small businesses created in 2020.

“Small businesses accounted for two-thirds of net new American jobs before the pandemic. Our Next 1000 Summit will empower the brightest small business leaders who are driving the economy forward, disrupting industries and challenging the status quo,” said Maneet Ahuja, Senior Editor, Forbes.

Reshaping the future of corporate functions as identified in this McKinsey report will redefine support roles and create new ones as organizations adopt and streamline operations. The future of workforce ecosystems will evolve and become increasingly important for environments inclusive of humans and machines. Solving for the customer and employee experience now will not only drive growth but also attract the right talent to support the collective vision and build a culture aligned to what matters most.

What is all the mesh about?

If you were excited about clubhouse, Twitter spaces or the Microsoft together mode then you will be elated to learn about Microsoft Mesh.

Earlier this year Salesforce officially solidified the acquisition of Slack and it will be a matter of time before these tech giants will disrupt the world of collaboration. In the meantime, we need to switch to ‘Jetsons‘ mode and literally be ready for what is yet to come–mixed reality in a lifetime that felt ions away.

The course of history is changing because forces of nature beyond our control are shifting the future to redesign our ecosystems. The open office concept will soon be part of history as office space is transformed to bring the outdoors inside and allow increased flexibility to modular spaces. Not only will the way we work change, the way we get it done will play an integral part in this paradigm shift because digital transformation is here.

Statistics in this report published by McKinsey reveal that businesses transformed their technology capabilities quicker in the last few months than some have in years. Considering the acceleration of technology, the momentum will continue to build on the latest discoveries and we need to keep pace with it. One of the latest concepts in circulation that is trending alongside AI, is uncovering how to bring the metaverse to life. There’s not a whole lot of chatter of what this means yet but once it takes shape, the world of hybrid will be ready for it. It wasn’t long ago that Blackberry put a computer into a handheld device that opened the door for competitors to rise above the reign of the smartphone. If you were a teenager growing up in the 90’s, who ever thought you could watch TV, listen to music, text your BFF, browse the internet, check email or call home with one device?

Now that you have an understanding of the metaverse, here’s an introduction to Microsoft Mesh.

Borders will no longer limit our humanity and the stretch of imagination will enrich our lives as technology evolves to new heights allowing virtual worlds to mesh us closer together than we thought possible.

Modeling a future that will benefit generations to come

Our lives revolve around the things we decide to do each day from Monday through Sunday and start all over again the beginning of each week. Sometimes we are too busy to give pause and reflect on the life lessons that took place to choose whether or not the actions we carried out at home or at work, were worth the energy, time and effort.

The Financial Times recently published a quote:

Let’s not go back to what wasn’t working anyway.

Quote source: Financial Times

The Financial Times article attached to the quote, makes a compelling point–the new world must offer a new deal to the young.

Over 6 years ago Wired introduced concepts and a visual into the future as well as “Shared Planetary Life Spaces” in this article. What does this mean? How will this work? All of this is dependent on the actions, choices and decisions we make today. Our future is being created for the next generations but holding on to the past and the way of doing things that don’t work will not propel us into this new world.

Organizations are working tirelessly behind the scenes to flip the office, transition to hybrid and tap deeper into agile work to offer more freedom and flexibility. And the ‘Great Resignation‘ is causing businesses to operate on a resource shortage but at the same time trying to figure out how to keep current employees on payroll. Adopting new concepts will not only revolutionize our approach but also optimize technology to disrupt the way we work–does this mean shortening the 8-hour workday, implementing a 4-day work week, offering no-meeting days or simply shut down for a week?

While this article The Daily Routines of 12 Famous Writers, authored by James Clear, reveals their paths and habits, there are life lessons that can help shift the way of the future and modify approaches to current routines. Once offices start to increase back to a state of normalcy of being together, the exhaustion will no longer fall on zoom fatigue but will be rationalized in a different form based on the current environment. Taking a deeper look at what will drive more meaningful work and altering old methods, while building trust along the way, will attract the right mindsets and skillsets to unfold results aligned to shared core priorities–break the cycle to stop what isn’t working to introduce what could be possible. If we don’t shift or change, we will continue to get more of the same.

We are observing change happening all around us because people are choosing what makes sense and saves time so that they can focus on what matters most in their life. The time is now to start modeling a future that will benefit generations to come!

Bouncing back is what we do

Navigating through life is about taking stock of lessons learned along the way. When faced with a substantial altering event whether be at work or at home, we thrust ourselves into facing the adversity that strikes us. Looking back over the last year, in particular 2020 that forced most of the world into defying the odds, all the procrastination in the workforce leading up to 2020, took shape in less than 12 months. Although there was undeniable upheavals, let’s focus on the untapped potential that lies within our ability to optimize the tools and resources to reach the destiny we design for ourselves.

Achieve

New businesses launched. Bloomberg reported in this article, new businesses were formed in 2020 more than ever before.

Ideas

We leaned heavily on technology to connect and ideate. A few years earlier McKinsey & Company forecasted the skill development needs of the future. This article Automation and the future of the workforce highlights areas that will take a profound shift in the years to come but we leveraged them exponentially to bring brainstorming sessions to life across borders using platforms that were created to improve our lives and ease up on travel.

Support

Vulnerability is realized–it’s okay not to be okay. It would be hard to imagine that there is not one person who was not personally transformed in some way because of the forces of nature in various forms that impacted the world. As life unfolds, people are reprioritizing and redefining their path forward. HBR sheds light on the fact that we are all human, regardless of position in society, and being brave enough to share emotions is transformational to draw in support to help each other cope.

Together

It doesn’t matter where you work in corporate America because the environment does not define the strategy nor bring it to life–people do. There’s been developments over the years in technology to weave in a dynamic agile workforce, but the launch of Microsoft’s together mode, is absolutely brilliant. If we set aside individual opinions, understand the agile workforce, the ability to adapt will be less frictionless than we think.

“Given the velocity of change in organizations, we look to our people to quickly embrace and make the changes a reality. For us to be agile, we need to focus on unlearning the old and learning the new,” said Emily Lundi-Mallett, executive director of talent and organization development at Ingram Micro, a 30,000-employee tech company headquartered in Irvine, Calif. “This means that we need to focus on our employees’ mindsets, which will determine the pace at which the change takes place.” 

Source: SHRM Article Viewpoint: How to Develop an Agile Workforce

Overcoming resistance is no easy feet and most often change plans are derailed because fear of the unknown holds a lot of people back from shifting gears. This is where transparent communication is pivotal in reshaping and course correcting the future. Regardless of our role at home or in the workplace, we can all be leaders to promote humanity and gratitude that infuses our ability to draw upon our strengths to build an inclusive society for all to have the opportunity to bounce back better than ever because that’s what we do!

Beneath it all

Discovering the elements in life that inspire a fulfilling legacy can be obscured when forces of nature draw us in a different direction. This can range from our inner circle to the environment we are living in. So many factors play an integral role in the direction of our lives but it is time to disrupt the pattern–break it down to peel back the layers.

When we choose to surround ourselves with others who are unique from our own characteristics, we can begin to change the narrative and perceptions that have molded our future. Sometimes our authentic self is hidden beneath the layers depending where we are and who we are interacting with. But representing what we really stand for will help unleash our dreams and passion. However, the confidence and courage to being human in our professional lives has not always been easy because of the existing social pressures when people feel like they have to separate their identities from home to the work environment. Mike Robbins helps put this into perspective in his Forbes interview with Henna Inam:

Bringing our whole selves to work means showing up authentically, leading with humility, and remembering that we’re all vulnerable, imperfect human beings doing the best we can. It’s also about having the courage to take risks, speak up, ask for help, connect with others in a genuine way, and allow ourselves to be truly seen. It’s not always easy for us to show up this way, especially at work. And it takes commitment, intention, and courage for leaders and organizations to create environments that are conducive to this type of authenticity and humanity. ~ Mike Robbins

Source: Forbes “Bring Your Whole Self To Work”

Rising to the peak of our destiny will undoubtedly come with challenges and roadblocks. There is no playbook or manual that demonstrates smooth sailing to the top but riding out the waves with genuine intent will not only build a renowned legacy but your network, village or tribe will paddle along. This may mean compromises in bringing everyone along the journey regardless of differentiating opinions or ideas–this is okay. Because embracing the success of others and adversaries versus tearing them down solidifies that we are human and reveals that we are guided by our internal compass not the social pressures that heavily weigh us down.

Being comfortable with who we are will shine the light on what we stand for and ultimately encourage everyone to bring their authentic self to the top layer not beneath it all. Designing our destiny with this in mind will build a solid foundation and alliance no matter where the path ahead unfolds.

Motivation

There are different areas and levels of motivation that drive us personally and professionally–the Motivation Code gives an in-depth look at what taps into the behaviors that draw us to succeed. When we are aligned to the profession and/or environment that brings ultimate satisfaction, there’s less pressure and anxiety because the daily actions taken naturally unfold.

But the research and statistics reveal that most children follow in their parent’s footsteps because of the influence on their future. This article, The Jobs You’re Most Likely to Inherit From Your Mother and Father, published by the New York Times, provides an analysis on son’s and daughter’s likelihood of which job they pursue based on their father or mother’s occupation.

Then some children feel like they have no choice and the pressure from their parents leads them to a career path that does not play upon their unique personality. But on the other hand, some find it as a way to help them decide because they find themselves at the end of their high school year with no direction. Understanding the effect, is important because our future impacts not only the course of the relationship with our parents but also the freedom to choose.

And of course, what deemed to be the most prevalent jobs 10 or 20 years ago, may not be what will fuel innovation and growth in the centuries to come. According to science, we are living in a new geological age, which can propel the children of the future to choose an environmental or scientific career path because they want to help advocate for climate change. According to Robert Half, artificial intelligence and analytics will prove to be areas of demand no matter the industry with the focus on digital transformation. Where to start? There’s a never ending list of occupations within the U.S. job sectors that can help guide the decision and the dreamer, story teller, designer or creative artist has an expanded array of tools and resources at their fingertips to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.

When we design the future of choice, we discover the elements in life that uncover what we are passionate about and showcase not only our talents but also unleash the force behind our motivation. Thus leads us to build a foundation that fulfills our destiny versus slamming into dead ends.

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