TrendWaves #196: How to Thrive in the Knowledge Economy 3.0

Posted 17 Feb 2015
by Gary Nelson

TrendWaves - Leadership & organizational trends and insights for Business LeadersIssue #196 – This post is part of the TrendWaves blog series, an NBOGroup publication on Leadership & Organizational trends and insights for Business Leaders.

A Culture to Thrive

A Culture to Thrive

We need to look at trends and decide what makes sense and what we need to do to “Thrive” in the evolving world of work. An amazing future lies in store for society and for individuals if we pay attention and take actions to achieve the “Thrive” option. Let's start with some today examples:

"United Airlines plans to outsource 2,000 Jobs" Wall Street Journal (WSJ) 1/13/15

Why? Well the cost of passenger check-in, baggage-handling, and customer service can all be done cheaper and more efficiently. How? Check-in today in Hawaii for UAL is mostly handled by the passenger with a Kiosk system for identification, verification, ticket issue and baggage tags and weighing. No people providing service. Try Home Depot, Cold Storage or other retail checkout points and you will see auto checkout systems being tested or in practice. The impact of technology on streamlining work and reducing headcount.

Banks are reducing business areas and selling, merging or eliminating entire groups.

"Deutsche Bank weighs selling Retail unit" WSJ 1/13/15

Deutsche Bank is finalizing its strategies for the next few years and found: they need to cut costs and risks, add stable sources of revenue and improve the internal culture. This is interesting, not in cost and revenue statements, but to improve the internal culture and stability!

Needing to fix the internal culture must mean that we have to change BEHAVIORS. Attitudes and Behavior are fundamental to our work success. Companies in Banking, Insurance and Governments are all struggling with attrition, lower productivity and satisfying career aspirations of workers. The culture of an organization can predict a few percentages of success to productivity and retention; Ask Starbucks globally and analyze its consistent culture of service and positive engagement with customers. Ask FedEx how they get their drivers to run, greet customers and deliver with a smile and efficiency. Ask yourself, what are the reasons for high attrition in organizations? I would bet internal culture is high on the list. Now to “Thrive”, Deutsche Bank and others are working on the obvious costs and revenue growth but also CULTURE. If we are to “Thrive” in the future we need to analyze how we are contributing to the culture with our behavior and attitudes.

Another trend from WSJ 1/13/15. A new book review:

"The Patient Will See You Now" by Eric Topol

You see the juxtaposition of the “patient will see you now” from the “Doctor will see you now”. The advances in smartphone and connectivity technology will revolutionize the medical profession. Control goes from doctor to patient. How? Think microphone as a component in deciphering lung function by sound. How voice can tell moods and indicate the onset of Parkinson's disease. Combine the wrist blood pressure technology to the smartphone and BP plus respiration rate, temperature etc. all available to send “real-time” to medical experts. Add a growing selection of "lab on a chip" devices and snap on phone instruments and you get a powerful diagnostic and medical status device that you can send in for diagnosis by your doctor without the wait in the office and visit unless needed.

This is an example of how, even the highest skill work, will change in the evolving world of work.

Measuring Your "Thrive" Factor 3.0

We need to look at these trends in our organization and our professional areas and ask:

As Individuals:
1. What do I see as trends in my professional area?
2. What do I need to develop to "thrive" in this new arena?

As Organizations:
1. What areas do we need to change to capture revenue and growth opportunities through technology?
2. What is positive in our culture that will attract and retain a stable team of talent?


Topics: Growth & Productivity , TrendWaves

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