How is work going to change in the new decade? As new technologies keep flooding into our work environment, how must leaders and the people they lead modify they way we work? Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what the work world of 2030 will look like.

My friend, Julie Sommerfreund, is an Innovation Designer for The Moment, a fascinating Canadian company that helps companies build an engine of continuous innovation to evolve the way people work.  She sent me their recent article, How to navigate the future of work. The article identifies seven “dimensions” for navigating the future of work:

  1. Self-management. The world of top-down hierarchy is over. Instead, distributed decision making, transparency, and individual power will enable corporations to handle increasing complexity.
  2. AI as a stakeholder. Artificial intelligence is here. Corporations must prioritize collaboration between AI and human workers to optimize the potential of both.
  3. Ethics as part of design. We have to teach our machines to make ethical decisions as we continue to work on living ethically ourselves.
  4. Empathy as a core value. As our work environments are increasingly digital and impersonal, increasing our focus on empathy is a critical element to maintain employee engagement and investment. For an interesting take on the role of empathy in a technological world, check out the Tedx Talk by my friend and colleague, Anita Nowak
  5. Learning is the job. By now it’s pretty obvious that the idea that we get our education first and then go to work is obsolete. Cognitive flexibility, continuous learning, and a career-long focus on people development are key competitive differentiators.
  6. Transitions are the strategic pathway. No set strategy is going to enable a company to thrive in this fast-changing environment. It’s all about adaptability.
  7. Circular thinking. Circular reasoning is the name of a famous logical fallacy – taking as your premise the thing you are trying to prove. Circular thinking means something else – the ability to take multiple perspectives in order to re-think and re-design what you are doing. 

All of this sounds both exciting and daunting to me. The Moment article sums it up nicely:

“We’re looking at one of the greatest organizational design challenges of our lifetime. The future world of work is bright and ever-changing. It thrives and succeeds if, and only if, organizations and leaders actively shape the future with our societies and all its humans in mind. The future of work must be human first. Let’s keep asking ourselves and others: Are we actively participating in creating a better future? Is the future we are creating good? Does it make people’s lives better?”

If you’re looking for guidance on how to shape your team for the future of work, email us at

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