Dave Desforges began piloting "Work From Home" solutions over 3 years ago. His role required identifying additional candidate requirements and necessary remote work practices for both employees and managers at Sun Microsystems. His current work encompasses blending appropriate technology, organizational practices, and workplace environments to support mobile and distributed teams.
Jim McGee is currently a Director at Huron Consulting Group. He has spent much of the last 30 years working to understand, design, and apply information and technology innovations in organizations. Before Huron, Jim taught at the Kellogg School and was one of the founding partners of DiamondCluster International. With Larry Prusak, he was the co-author of Managing Information Strategically (Wiley, 1993). Jim has both an MBA and a doctorate in Information Technology, Organization, and Strategy from the Harvard Business School.
Regina Miller has more than 18 years of experience in Organization Development, Human Resources, Leadership Development and International Operations. Regina recently launched a global consultancy called The Seventh Suite which assists growing companies bolster their competitive edge via aligned strategy and progressive people practices. Her last corporate job was as the VP HR/OD for Oskar (Vodafone) which has been dubbed one of the fastest growing mobile operators in Eastern Europe. More info here.
Giovanni Rodriguez - Through a combination of luck and persistence, Giovanni has worked in the company of some of the most interesting and colorful leaders in several worlds: the law, theater, and technology. Today, he is a principal at Eastwick Communications, a Silicon Valley PR agency, where he advises both emerging companies and market leaders on executive leadership, public speaking, marketing strategy and media relations. He has worked for, consulted and advised numerous businesses and organizations including HP, Stanford University, Fujitsu Computer Systems, Cadence Design Systems, VMware, the American Arbitration Association, and the Unified Court System of New York. He is a graduate of Princeton University (Religion and Anthropology), and he has done graduate course work at the Columbia School of Journalism and N.Y.U.
Jim Ware is a cofounder of the Work Design Collaborative and the Future of Work program. He has over 30 years experience in research, executive education, consulting, and management, including five years on the faculty of the Harvard Business School. He was the lead author of The Search for Digital Excellence, (McGraw-Hill, 1998), and holds Ph.D., M.A., and B.Sc. degrees from Cornell University and an MBA (With Distinction) from the Harvard Business School.
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline
I am convinced that podcasts (which, as author Randall Stross points out, do not originate on iPods, nor are they technically "broadcasts:) are the next wave of opportunity for businesses - and individuals - to connect with customers, the general public, and others who you want to influence.
Ive been trying understand, and help build, the future of work most of my adult life. Always trying to improve working conditions, to enhance organizational effectiveness, and to increase individual satisfaction. I do a lot of speculating about what could be, which for me is sometimes hard to separate from what will be (that is, its often hard for me to distinguish between what is most likely to happen, and what I hope will happen even though thats a pretty fundamental principle for any futurist).
Anyway, even though Yogi Berra once said that predictions are really difficult, especially when theyre about the future, I am going to stick my neck out and describe what I believe is actually going to happen over the next three to five years.
First, its clear to me that the very nature of work itself is changing, due in large part to technology, but also due to the increased importance of creativity and innovation in creating economic value, and to shifting population demographics (thats a topic I promise to come back to).
In addition, recent events and experiences (like the dot-bust economy) have profoundly transformed the social contract between individuals and organizations.
So I see a number of interdependent drivers taking us into a future in which:
Our perspective at the Work Design Collaborative and Future of Work (my home base) is that the future isn't a given, that we (all of us together) are creating it every day with the choices that we make, both individually and collectively. So a big part of our focus is on identifying and reporting on those leading-edge examples to help everyone else make more informed choices.
Now, by way of introduction, Charlie Grantham and I (that's the "we" and "our" that I keep referring to) came together about four years ago to build a small think tank (so small that Charlie calls it a thought pool) designed to help organizations achieve the holy grail of integrating and coordinating three critical functions (and assets) that typically don't get along with each other very well (if at all). You can check out our bios on the Future of Work website, at www.thefutureofwork.net/principals.html.
Those functions are, not surprisingly, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Corporate Real Estate/Facilities Management. We believed then, and are convinced now, that effective strategic integration of those three areas can reduce the cost of operations and workforce support by 30% or more while creating work environments that attract and retain the best and brightest talent.
That may sound like Nirvana, and hype, but its true. Today we know organizations that have achieved cost savings in excess of 40%.
But the future of work is about a whole lot more than cost cutting. The real, and long-lasting, benefits of embracing new work patterns, adopting alternative workplace strategies, and leveraging new workforce values and expectations have a lot more to do with attracting, retaining, and leveraging creative talent.
We know that's going to be THE theme of the decade as the global economy becomes more and more focused on creativity, innovation, and knowledge work - and as knowledge workers become more and more "in charge" of their own careers.
There's a big workforce shortage staring us in the face as the Boomers retire and shift to part-time independent careers, as our educational system continues to ignore the needs of the Information Age, and as the economy heats up. Oh, and by the way, those talented knowledge workers have a whole new set of expectations and values that don't include being loyal corporate citizens any more.
I'll be writing a lot more about those issues, challenges, and opportunities over the coming weeks and months. And Charlie will chime in occasionally as well. We're convinced there is a revolution underway, and we want to help our clients and readers not only prepare for it, but lead it.
So stay tuned for a series of thought pieces and provocative points of view on what the future of work might look like - and what I at least hope it will look like (which is not always the same thing).