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The New World of Work

August 17, 2012

Whether we like it or not, we are becoming a global community in ways of living and working.  Young executives of today, from a variety of cultures, see themselves as belonging to a global community of humanity. The trend is increasing for globally sourced people, working flexible hours from home or remotely from site, on flexible contracts. Of course, this trend is quite understandable in the face of globalisation and digitisation opening up labour markets and increasing the flexibility required by employers.  In parallel to this flexible, global emergence, surveys consistently show that Generation Y (under 30’s) are increasingly placing social purpose, work-place culture, ethics and organisational mission as fundamentally important in their lives, as well as fair remuneration.

This ‘new world of work’ changes the game for individuals and employers, in turn fundamentally changing the demands put on education to equip people for success. Some argue that we are on the cusp of a radical transformation in higher and further education. A paradigm shift from a silo’ed, hierarchical, atomised approach to education which teaches ‘chunks’ of subjects to its students; to a more tailored, integrated, applied, holistic approach to higher and further education aimed at providing an adequate supply of flexible, adaptable, entrepreneurial, self-motivated workers and leaders now increasingly demanded by the global community we live in.

With community comes the recognition, awareness and valuing of diversity and local differences.  Globalisation without localisation strips away diversity encouraging mono-cultures to supersede multi-cultures in society and organisations. Through our desire to organise, manage, scale-up, co-ordinate and control we have tended towards encouraging mono-cultures where we seek to normalise behaviour, and in turn reduce organisational (and wider socio-economic) resilience. It is diversity that unleashes creativity; it is diversity that helps create conditions conducive for change. It is this important dynamic of ‘localisation within globalisation’ which is fundamental to ensuring vital resilience for organisations able to sail these stormy seas ahead.

It is within this emergent, locally-attuned, diverse, interconnected community we must find our way to work, rest and play. As our global community emerges, we see the emergence of global ethics and the acceptance of (and desire for) increasing flexibility, variety and sense of purpose.  The roles of human resourcing, talent management, stakeholder engagement, higher-education and organisational training are evolving to meet this transformation.

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