Thursday, 20 September 2007

The Future of People at Work


Last day!  Anne Lise Kjaer is a futurist who pioneered and uses the concept of multidimensional thinking - developing future concepts by analysing scientific research in conjunction with social, emotional and spiritual shifts in society ie combining left and right brain.

Anne Lise focuses specifically on advising companies to prepare for the workplace of tomorrow.

Anne Lise started with the propositiin that the future is not some place you go, in fact you create the future.  This seemed to support David Rock's insight that our attention hardwires our brains which in turn influences our experience and what we pay attention to - providing a positively reinforcing system.

This means that we need to think about for ourselves what we believe the future will hold for us.

Anne Lise's belief is that the 21st century will be about emotional consumption.  We have been very rational - focussing on facts and figures.  So business leaders used to say "We're not interested in facts and feelings - we want facts".  But there are no facts about the future.  So to tap into the future we need to ask about what we feel it will bring.  And companies are starting to recognise the value of a softer and more human perspective.

The main trends Anne Lise believes will confront us are:

-   Smart technology
-   Globalisation
-   Asia and new economies
-   Polarisation
-   The creative class
-   Aging workforce
-   Female empowerment
-   Global sustenance
-   Health and wellness
-   Spiritual awareness.

Which of these are going to impact your HR approach?  And what are you going to do about it?

As Anne Lise says,

"When the wind of change rises, some people build walls.  Others build windmills."