The Future of Work

April 15, 2009
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If you looked inside our company, you would see that we currently serve two broad categories of technology buyers: IT executives at large companies who need insight on managing their global enterprise application/ERP architectures, and operations executives looking for our…

If you looked inside our company, you would see that we currently serve two broad categories of technology buyers: IT executives at large companies who need insight on managing their global enterprise application/ERP architectures, and operations executives looking for our assistance in helping to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their ever-expanding supply chains.

For about a year or so, I’ve been fixated on a third audience: executives looking at how their organizations will need to evolve over the next five to 10 years.

There’s no shortage of questions: 

• Where will we find the people?
• How will we train them?
• Where will they be based?
• What productivity tools will they need?
• How will we structure their responsibilities?
• What will compensation look like?
• How will we manage the transition from baby boomers to younger employees?
• Who are our future competitors? 

The best-run organizations are already looking ahead. Fortune recently profiled Procter & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley as part of its ongoing “Top Performers” series. P&G has a comprehensive leadership and performance management program that is has branded “Build From Within.” 

A couple of points in the article jumped out:

• P&G plans to hire 2,700 people this year out of 600,000 applicants.
• Nearly all will be new graduates. Less than 5% of the hires will come from other firms.
• The company maintains a database on all 138,000 employees that closely tracks their monthly and annual performance reviews.
• P&G maintains a stable of three viable candidates for each of the top 50 positions.
• All P&G executives teach at the company training center and host weeklong “colleges” for employees moving up in the organization.
• Mr. Lafley closely tracks the development of the top 150 managers.

Clearly, this is a company focused on the Future of Work.

What do you think of “The Future of Work”?

I see the Future of Work as the theme for a lot of our existing coverage on human capital management, customer relationship management, knowledge and content management, SaaS/clouds, office automation tools, business intelligence and performance management, business process outsourcing, and social networking and other Web 2.0 tools. We would need to add some additional coverage around the organizational issues that don’t fit neatly in the software and services coverage areas.

I need your help, though.

What do you think of the theme? We have debated calling it “The Future of Work” or some combination of “People, Performance, and Productivity.” I believe this will be a critical discussion topic, especially as we emerge from the recession. What do you think?