Millions of young Americans are experiencing a “quarter-life crisis.” They understand that the economy and the nature of work have changed forever. Talent today want more bang for their buck. They want to leave a mark, make a contribution, have a purpose. In short, they’re seeking a calling more than a career. They crave meaning, autonomy, and exploration. Managing one’s vocation successfully is no different than managing a business. And that’s why the contingent workforce has the power to[...]
Sometimes, to gain a clear perspective of events, we must look beyond our own boundaries. Let’s face it, dissecting challenges and shifts is more difficult for those in caught in the middle of them. This is why I found a September 30 editorial in Britain’s The Observer a timely and informative piece. “There is a range of social and economic challenges that will test that commitment to reform: how to cope with an ageing population; how to move to growth based more on investment than debt; how to come to a more equitable settlement between the generations,” the article stated. “One particularly important question is how we adapt to the challenges technology and automation pose for the future of work.” Across the pond, we’re confronting the same questions. Yet unlike the naysayers, pessimists and neo-Luddites, I agree with the overwhelming conclusion that British economists have reached: we’re not investing in “productivity boosting technology fast enough.”
As Staffing Industry Analysts reported, last year “companies processed between $47 billion and $51 billion U.S. dollars (USD) in spend associated with the human cloud on a global basis.” Today’s business environment is defined by the fluidity of globalization. In a short span of time, technology has eroded many of the barriers -- physical and social -- that have separated people throughout the ages. We’ve entered a new era of work where our tools, processes and people function in “the cloud.” Rigid structures and the constraints of brick-and-mortar spaces are giving way to elastic operations that allow business leaders to make real-time adjustments in the workforce. With innovation as a priority for every company, this dynamic is essential to maintaining a competitive edge. It’s unlikely that this protracted war for talent will eventually be won by the old “boots on the ground” mentality. Those days have passed. Tomorrow’s victors will be employers with their heads in the clouds -- in this case, the human cloud.