The future of work should be neither a promise nor a dream

Before getting into the heart of my series “the future of work in 2022 and beyond” and after having recalled the meaning of the words “future” and “work”, I would like to bring a last clarification to frame the subject.

When one starts to think about the future of work, it can take two counterproductive angles.

The first, as we saw in my previous post, is to want to protect the pass too much and be too restrictive in its approach. The second is to lose all sense of reality.

We must not lose sight of what should be the objective of such an approach: to lead to a concrete action plan and get a message across to employees.

The future of work is not a promise

This is perhaps the most difficult dimension to manage because it forces us to take into account two injunctions that may seem contradictory.

The future of work is not a promise in the sense that we should not think that employees will be satisfied with a nice speech, nice words and that cel will fulfill their expectations. Saying that we have understood the situation, that we have understood their future needs, possibly making them dream is meaningless and nothing happens afterwards.

But the future of work is not a promise in the sense that, even with the best will in the world, you may not be able to accomplish everything you want to.

I used to say that a prediction and a plan are wrong from the moment they are made. Too many things can change in the economic and societal environment of the company and the last few years have been full of events proving this. The plan can be beautiful, one can really want to execute it, then something happens called reality, the future, which is by definition unpredictable, and in the end they are the ones who are most often right.

The future of work is not a dream

I was insisting on the need to have a relatively rational approach when it comes to making predictions and here is the main reason: they have to lead to something operational, it’s not just an exercise to have fun.

I have already participated in a number of workshops on the “future of something”, with managers, employees, external experts…

I heard a lot of very interesting things.

But I also heard many things that told me more about the person than about the future. Listening to them I understood their desires, their fears, their political ideas, what they cared about, their convictions, what they wanted to fight against…but nothing about the future.

The result of all this was in the end a mixture of ideology, dreams, frustrations, but through this work they were projecting themselves into a future they hoped for, not their company into a realistic future.

Of course these biases will always exist, but they can be minimized, precisely by rationalizing things as much as possible. Don’t worry, everyone’s imagination and dreams will always find a way to express themselves, we just have to avoid that they take us too far from what is realistic.

Bottom line

We must not forget that a reflection on the future of work must lead to a realistic action plan that will find its place in a future that we hope to have well identified.

To make it the ground of expression of the dreams and the fights of each one leads to a diametrically opposed result.

PostSubject
1Forces shaping the future of work in 2022
2The future of work is about…work and its future
3The future of work is not a promise or a dream
4The future of work is not a place or a time of day
5Future of pay and compensation: speaking the same language, paying in real time, making sense.
6The future of work: simple by nature, simple by obligation(coming soon)
7The future of work only the result is watched
8The future of work will rely on data and continuous improvement (coming soon)
9The future of work will be “agile by design” (coming soon)
10Management in the future of work: digital leadership and systemic approach to management (coming soon)
11In the future of work, engagement is measured by results, not attitudes (coming soon)
12Career management in the future of work: the art of adapting to the unpredictable (coming soon)
13In the future of work the employee experience is a background task, not a program (coming soon)
14The future of “care” at work: useful and productive (coming soon)
15The work of the future will be designed for humans (coming soon)
16The work of the future will be designed according to the “job to be done” (to come)
17The future of work will be automated with relevance (coming soon)
18In the future of work the mental load is the new workload (to come)
19The social bond in the future of work: weaker, stronger (coming soon)
20The future of work will be digitally responsible (coming soon)
21But who is in charge of the future of work? (coming soon)
Bertrand DUPERRINhttps://www.duperrin.com/english
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
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