The workplace is changing

Imagine if you work in IT and are desperately looking for a job when suddenly 50,000 additional job seekers are thrown onto the market. All highly qualified, with years and years of experience and fantastic CVs.

The fact is the work place is not just changing rapidly, it’s changing forever to a new free economy populated with self-employed entrepreneurs. Many of these find themselves forced to work alone with a PC and a mobile phone and online applications to market their skills on an as-needed basis rather than on the payroll of a large company and with a regular salary. For these individuals, success may rely on their ability to master a whole range of new skills in social networking and systematically building their free market social capital as many of the skills and processes learnt in large multinational companies may be found sadly wanting.

These trends have been gaining momentum for a while. Think of famous company names no longer in existence and tens of thousands of their employees no longer working in those companies: Marconi, Compaq, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Nortel, Wang Laboratories to name but a few.

And this is just the technology sector without even considering other markets such as retail, where a number of big retail groups have crashed from the influence of online shopping – examples of which are Woolworths and HMV.

Existing Corporations were founded in a very different climate than today. Market forces, technology, communications continue to morph at a rapid rate and become ever more complex. New considerations have to be taken into account like environmental issues and greater emphasis on employee engagement even whilst still operating from old internal structures and central decision-making.

Losing a foothold on market share to smaller more nimble competitors who can respond to change more quickly and efficiently is becoming more apparent.

Whilst markets, technology and information demands change, some things stay the same. In terms of neuroscience and psychology, the human brain and human needs will not evolve so rapidly. This is why relationships and our emotional responses should be addressed and embraced with more vigour than ever before.

We have numerous ways of communicating that are increasingly efficient, but unless we nurture relationships upline, downline, at peer level and with customers and clients, we will lose many opportunities. This is not just at the individual level, this is also for companies and corporations as a whole. Operating in silos is old fashioned and risky and is analogous to sticking one’s head in the sand. We need to open up communication and listen to all members of staff. Every employee will have ideas to move business forward and modernisation should be looked upon as a constant challenge, for what is modern today will not be modern tomorrow.

Human beings are still the same, we need to feel valued and valid and we operate at our best when part of an energetic community. If the large corporations still standing want to remain in the game, these old fashioned truths will need to be discussed and implemented through training for all.

If not, it may be wise for employees in large-scale traditional organisations to think about additional skills they may need should this wave crash over them or indeed to start their preparations for their own entrepreneurial businesses right now whilst still employed.

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