How the Workplace is Changing

January 25, 2019 Joe Gianoni

We’ve seen leaps in technology over the last few decades, shifts in the global economy and industry needs, and a new generation maturing into the workforce and roles of prominence, so it stands to reason that the way people think about and practice our work will begin to change, and it has.  

In the recent episode of The sgENGAGE Podcast, “Skills, Brand, and Space: The Future of Work,” Blackbaud’s Rachel Hutchisson spends some time speaking with Carina Wong, Senior Advisor, Innovation & Scale at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gary Bolles, Chair for the Future of Work, Singularity University about how people and organizations have changed their needs and desires towards a new norm. 

The discussion begins with a brief look at personal identity in the workplace. To generalize a bit, the prevailing attitude toward work used to be to show up to your job with the sole purpose of putting food on the table and keeping a roof overhead. We’ve been lucky as a society to move beyond that and have learned over time all the reasons wrong with this transactional atmosphere – that people’s health, productivity, and quality of their work is exponentially better when they are given an environment to thrive in…when they can bring, as Rachel puts it, their whole selves to work. In an effort to focus on the driving factors of purpose and passion, both workers and organizations are now striving for a more harmonic relationship as a result, with situations where strengths, goals, and values are more intertwined for mutual success. 

As the conversation progresses, Gary turns to the idea that we are moving from an industrial era model to a digital economy and what that means for the workforce. He points out that, with so much information at our fingertips, the shift in the required skill set from specialized knowledge to transferable skills is vital to the mutual success of people and the organizations they work for. Summing up his point is one of the many great quotes from Gary in this episode “…the reason we pay people, the reason you you’re paid as a worker is to solve problems. So we need problem solvers who are adaptive because the world is going to continually change.”

Rachel, Gary, and Carina continue to make interesting points and cover many topics in the episode, lending their expertise and experience to shed light on where we as people are headed in our professional culture. Read below the key takeaways from the episode and check out the link to the episode itself!

  • Being driven by purpose, rather than necessity, is the future of cultural identity at work and personal satisfaction
  • Employers need to focus on workers with problem solving skills rather than transactional task completion
  • Diverse thinking is the key to problem solving and organizational success

To hear more on changes and developments in the professional space, listen here:The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 82: Skills, Brand, and Space: The Future of Work

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