by Michele Price | Featured Contributor
The future of workforce is staring us in the eyes.
If you’re thinking about, or already are, running a business in 2016 — or read our article — you’re aware of the powerful and fundamental shift we’re experiencing in what the market expects and how we’re able to deliver it to them.
Market dynamics are of course always in constant flux, there’s nothing new there, and new product and constant innovation isn’t the exclusive child of the late 20th or early 21st centuries.
The velocity of innovation and change is.
Evolution Reaching Its Tipping Point
Coined by Gordon Moore in 1965, Moore’s Law — stating that computing power (measured by transistor numbers per square inch) doubles every 18 months — has been unbroken to this day. In his 1999 book ‘The Age of Spiritual Machines’ futurist Ray Kurzweil expanded Moore’s Law to introduce the “Law of Accelerating Results”, effectively stating that human technology in general observes an exponential change, one that accelerates by virtue of its own speed.
Kurzweil wasn’t the first one to build his theory as an extension of Moore’s Law; in fact, Buckminster Fuller, introduced the term ‘ephemeralization’ in his work in 1938, long before Moore. In 1958 Stanislaw Ulam wrote about the “ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life”. Ulam wrote this in reference to conversations with John von Neumann, the father of modern computational technology.
Where Kurzweil’s observations are unique, however, is his ability to realize that technological innovation has reached the point where traditional evaluations are no longer relevant. As he puts it:
”[…] we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).”
So what does this tell us? Why the history lesson?
Because if we look at the progression of human evolution, it has always been our tools that allowed us to reach further than our biology or society allowed us to. In the late 20th century this trend reached its tipping point, and by the early 21st century, where we are now, technology is completely ubiquitous. That is to say: it no longer aids and supplements our daily lives, it’s essential to it.
And, just like the future of our daily lives, the future of workforce is foundationally dependent in — and shaped by — technology. Furthermore, the pace of change in technology becomes a governing factor in how this new workforce is integrated into the world.
Flexibility Through Change
Generally speaking, every generation is more technologically savvy than the one preceding it. It’s just a matter of technology becoming more widespread as time goes by, and new generations growing up accustomed to it.
Never before, however, have we experienced so much innovation in so little time. And the more change we witness, the less static the world feels like.
Millennials and the Z generation no longer has the luxury of being brought up in relatively calm environments. Computing power that served sufficiently for decades no longer exists: what we used just a handful of years ago is outdated and woefully inadequate today. And with the pace perpetually increasing, that gap will keep shortening constantly.
In a world rooted in such a rapidly changing environment, it’s no surprise that the demands of the newly grown up — or currently growing up — generations are radically different from the ones their parents or grandparents had.
Stability, Security, and Legacy —> Speed, Control, and Flexibility
Entrepreneurship, similarly to paradigm-changing technology, is nothing new. But where entrepreneurs were a small fraction of a fraction of society before, they’re not even a clearly defined group anymore: entrepreneurship is just a collective term to identify a set of values that most of us hold as our own, and not even thinking about being entrepreneurial.
Small businesses, startups especially, who are on a constant mission to solve old problems in new ways — or solve new problems altogether — and built by people to whom fast change, personal control, and flexible priorities are more important than established societal positions, financial security, or traditional work-life balance.
Human Resources Anew
It takes a thief to catch a thief, as the saying goes, and it’s increasingly clear that it takes a new approach to selling to a market driven by these new buyers.
This dynamic turns the tables in human resources, but unlike previous changes — where equality was attempted by outside or top-down initiatives — this shift seems to be about natural market forces reaching for inner equilibrium, giving equal power to both sides of the aisle.
It’s too early to tell how each side will learn to wield its newfound portion of power, but we’re already seeing rearrangement on part of the workforce. Freelancing and remote work are no longer oddities, nor are project-based engagements instead of deep investments in a single path.
Startup culture and those who are able to see innovations on the business side are — and will be — able to stay ahead of the tide that’s coming, and not only stay afloat but ride on top.
We think you, reading this, will want to be one of the surfers who can tame the waves. Stay tuned for our future articles, to stay in the loop and learn how!
If the true success of one is measured through others, then Michele Price is one of the most successful people on the planet.
A fractional CMO taking a growth-focused approach toward solid and innovative results, Michele consistently delivers precise execution and robust results in digital media/marketing.
Some are baffled by her, because she makes them rethink everything they know about marketing. Some are continuously amused by her wild and imaginative questions. And some are simply intimidated once learning how she stopped a herd a buffalo from killing 26 snowmobilers.
A life-long entrepreneur, Michele has been working with brands and businesses from bootstrap to national size, and generated results by putting into action visually delicious presentations, team challenges that propel innovation, and ideas that lead to full-fledged experiences.
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