Thomas Kochan, a member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future, shares those concerns, but also sees “tremendous” innovative potential in new technologies. “We believe that we can harness advancing technologies to create a productive and more equitable future,” he said. Kochan proposes a four-pronged roadmap to guide business leaders in shaping this model for the work of the future:
- Lead with the high road - Building a high-road company culture that values innovation, customer service, and fair pricing is crucial for success. Companies must invest in workforce development, engage employees in improving operations, and create a culture that values their contributions.
- Use advanced technology to drive innovation and augment work - To drive innovation effectively, companies should involve workers in the design and implementation of new technology. An integrated approach that includes engineers, vendors, and front-line employees leads to higher productivity and more rewarding work. AI and robots should be seen as tools to help people think, minimizing fear and risk.
- Train and upskill the workforce - The future of work requires a skilled and continuously learning workforce. Employers should invest in state-of-the-art learning systems and partnerships with education and workforce development institutions. Building lifelong ecosystems will help workers upgrade skills and adapt to changing technologies.
- Engage workers as partners in innovation - Empowering the workforce involves developing new communication channels, promoting collaboration, and fostering open dialogue. Younger generations seek collaborative management styles. Business leaders should also engage with labor leaders to build a more inclusive social contract that benefits everyone and addresses societal divisions.
Indeed, while the strategies proposed in the MIT study offer valuable insights, they are not magic bullets for success. Building a thriving and future-proof modern corporation requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses various crucial elements. We think by incorporating these critical elements (Company culture, Willingness to experiment and fail, Learn from mistakes, Embrace change)alongside the strategies outlined in the MIT study strengthens the foundation of a modern corporation, setting the stage for long-term success and a positive impact on the future of work.
- Company culture - This is more than just a buzzword; we have seen in countless companies, including Wiener Linien, Mercedes-Benz Driving Events, Becker Mining Systems, and FM Conway, that their positive company culture fosters employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. It sets the foundation for teamwork, creativity, and adaptability, crucial for success in today's dynamic business landscape.
- Willingness to experiment and fail - This is crucial. We work with companies that are developing products, whether hardware, software, or both. They understand that when you design and develop a product, especially complex products or technological innovations, encouraging a culture of experimentation empowers employees to explore innovative ideas and take calculated risks. Embracing failure as a learning opportunity promotes resilience and drives continuous improvement.
- Learn from mistakes - Of course, we try to 'hide' the things that have gone wrong, but viewing mistakes as valuable learning experiences promotes a growth mindset and fosters a culture of continuous learning. It encourages employees to seek solutions, enhancing problem-solving skills and driving innovation.
- Embrace change - The last point is probably the most difficult. Not because companies do not want to change, but sometimes they face other constraints, such as a lack of skilled or experienced workforce. Adapting to change is essential for remaining competitive in a rapidly evolving world. Embracing change enables companies to stay ahead of the curve, innovate, and seize new opportunities for growth and success.
In the intricate landscape of modern business, the reality is indeed far more complex than meets the eye. While the strategies proposed earlier are valuable, they are just the tip of the iceberg. For a corporation to thrive, there are additional factors that demand attention. Collaborating with clients is paramount, and putting the customer at the heart of decision-making becomes a driving force behind customer satisfaction and unwavering loyalty.
Moreover, agility and adaptability are the keys to survival in a rapidly changing market. The ability to swiftly respond to shifts and disruptions empowers businesses to capitalize on emerging opportunities and tackle challenges head-on.
But the challenges don't stop there. Embracing sustainability practices and demonstrating social responsibility are integral aspects that modern corporations must embrace. By doing so, companies not only create a positive brand image but also resonate with the values of conscientious consumers.
In this multifaceted environment, success demands a delicate balance of all these elements. Modern corporations must weave these threads together to create a cohesive tapestry of growth and innovation. Thriving in today's world requires more than isolated efforts; it demands a holistic approach that unites internal strategies with customer-centricity, adaptability, and a commitment to making a positive impact on society and the environment.
As business leaders, we must embrace the complexities, challenge assumptions, and cultivate a forward-thinking mindset. By doing so, we position our companies for a future where they not only survive but thrive amidst the ever-changing tides of the business world.