May 28, 2012

Future of Work: Add Open Leadership, Enterprise 2.0, Connected Learning and Mix

Mark Fidelman recently published a piece on Forbes entitled, “Microsoft’s View of the Future Workplace is Brilliant, Here’s Why“.

I’m not sure if Mark wrote the title or whether Forbes editors were in charge, but it really doesn’t do the post justice.

The second half of the piece is where the true brilliance is … if you’re someone like me who is passionate, fascinated and somewhat dogged about the future of work, and how it is made up of open leadership, enterprise 2.0 and connected learning.

Mark states:

I can say with confidence that the workplace has to change dramatically in order to remain effective.

From there, he outlines 10 key reasons why. You should have a read, it really is good stuff.

From my vantage point, (and what my book is trying to depict) our organizations are built on 19th century learning styles coupled by 20th century leadership models fused with 21st century technologies.

She ain’t pretty she just looks that way.” (thank you Northern Pikes)

Leaders remain trapped; their default modes of executing first before engaging with others is becoming ridiculous. Couple this leadership style with the adage learning only occurs in a classroom or eLearning course. (sidebar – why does the C-Suite continue to accept ‘number of people who took a course’ as a viable metric?)

The technology that is creeping if not storming into the organization (thank you Enterprise 2.0) should be causing leaders to rethink their 19th and 20th century models of learning and leadership. No, technology can’t solely fix behavioural problems which is precisely why you cannot change an organization’s culture unless (in parallel) you try to enhance or improve all three tenets: learning, leadership and technology.

One of Mark’s best paragraphs is as follows:

The new role of management is to facilitate the finding of solutions; not to dictate them. The new role of management is to facilitate “connections”, to match people with the right skills and abilities to projects where those skills are most needed. The new role of management is to remove hurdles to engagement by building approvals mechanisms into workflows.

This, in my opinion, is the combination of a brave new org where holistic models of learning, leadership and technology coalesce to create the wishful panacea palace called ‘future of work‘.

I just hope it doesn’t take another century.

I hope we’re ‘ahead by a century‘.

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