Companies thriving in 2020, 2030 and beyond. The SHORT answer.
I was recently asked the questions below from a progressive, innovative, fast growing company looking ahead to 2020, 2030 and beyond.
What is possible, given the rate of change in our world, to make traditional industry roles more fulfilling?
What will drive the Millennial and Post Millennial Generations?
What changes might we consider in anticipation of the future?
How do we ensure that we are the “top choice” for the future talent and college graduates?
The Short Answer(s)
Re-Humanize work. Fundamentally, the answer to all these questions is in the strategies that will make people (re-)humanized and whole in the workplace. Millennials, Post-Millennials and future talent (let's just call them people) hold a more holistic view of themselves integrating their life, work and the world. "Top Choice" companies will be ones that prioritize investing in the personal growth of individuals (emotional intelligence and fluency, self-awareness skill building, mindfulness programs, coaching, etc.) as much as their professional growth (e.g. leadership development, financial modeling training for the accounting team).
Culture Alignment between values and behavior is essential. Otherwise, there is the tension and distrust of double messaging. Companies need to take a hard and honest look at the “shadow” side of culture, seeing with clear eyes where values do and do not match the actuality of the day to day experience. For instance, if work/life balance is a value and people are rewarded for working themselves to the bone, then there is a deep incongruence. The shadow side also includes understanding how shame, vulnerability and unspoken norms are viewed. Building a vibrant culture looks unflinchingly at the underbelly of culture in addition to the aspirational and embodied cornerstones that make the culture and people in it thrive.
Stress Reduction. Really. The demands of living and working in modern times have up-ticked exponentially in recent years and will continue to in the years ahead. The problem is our human capacity has already been outpaced by these demands and we are seeing epidemic-level fallout from the stress. Organizations that invest in mediating the root causes of stress as well as building skillfulness in mindfulness-based stress strategies will tap into an unbounded, renewable and sustainable inner resourcing of its people. These are the companies that will profoundly outpace competitors while making it look easy.
Companies that prioritize integrated strategies and investments that make people feel humanized, whole and authentic will have the most dramatic gravitational pull, retention and possibility for fulfillment and competitive success - individually and organizationally.