This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
: : : :
The Shift Lynda Gratton 978-0-0-744567-7 Harper Collins, 2011
It was always an intriguing question: how the workplace in future would be. I would safely bet that it is one of the most interesting questions for everyone considering the turbulence in organizational dynamics witnessed in the recent past. As a management scholar, one would look at the changes in organizational dynamics over the last one and a half century to conclude that organizations have become more employee driven. Following that observation, I held a notion that there would be a time in future where no one would work for no one—effectively, meaning each one would be offering one‟s services as if they one is an organization in oneself. The title, The Shift, with a caption that said “The future of work is already here”, and with a question “Have you made the crucial shifts for success?” caught my eyes. Lynda Gratton, the author of the text, is a professor at London Business School offering an elective course in future of business. She was also listed by TIMES as one of the top 20 influential management thinkers. So this book felt like a guide to test my notions about the future, of work, organizations, and of economies too. Reading the book, one can conclude Lynda researched the question thoroughly. Like she states in the preface and her introduction to the book, it is of course not an easy task to predict the future of work. It is not merely about understanding history and extrapolating to what might be, but it involves understanding the nature of change one might see to future, and the forces that might drive the change. There remains another question in the reader‟s mind on how reliable are the arguments made in the book. Lynda explains that looking at an average working day in different decades and the behaviors of workmen in different times is a good indicator of the direction of change. Indeed, it turns out that observing behaviors in a normal working day is a rich source of information that can feed into understanding future. The further book is organized into five parts. In the first part, Lynda recognizes five primary forces that would influence future. These include technology, globalization, demographic changes and longevity, society, and energy resources. With a narration that intersperses the change Industrial revolution has brought about, and the changes that these five forces might bring in future, she presents a convincing view about why these five forces are critical among the many forces that her research efforts through Future at Work Consortium have found to be having an influence of future. Thirty two factors that are categorized to fit into these five forces are specifically introduced here. She asserts early in the book that future is actually a set of possibilities rather than something that can be predicted accurately. And correspondingly, she introduces the ideas of „Default future‟, „Crafted future‟ Vinay Kumar Chaganti, Assistant Professor School of Management Studies, MVGR College of Engineering, Vizianagaram
Assistant Professor School of Management Studies. Not only that. learn and be creative is identified as consequences of a fragmented life. The first choice pertains to attaining serial mastery as against a popular trend of being a generalist. also elaborating how the five forces that drive change influence them. the ones whom we can ask for peer reviews or opinions. but she identifies that an innovative connector would have more potential to achieve goals compared to an isolated competitor—which further feeds into success and happiness. serial mastery becomes a good option. Keeping in mind the increasing life expectancy and happiness needs that would gain significance. the author suggests that workmen in 2025 would have an opportunity to take up more and different roles in their career. Vizianagaram . and the big ideas crowd. core of the book. social engagement. MVGR College of Engineering. She further predicts that there would be ecosystems. She identifies that each individual should necessarily make three tough choices. these three ideas are extensively discussed in the next three chapters. if one were to sustain their levels of motivation or serve their passion needs. and the author opines that co-creation is essential to keep virtual interactions lively. the ones who are extremely close to us. And hence. while also cautioning that there may be many more in 2025. Respecting the value of diversity and having the willingness to work in teams leads to an attitude towards co-creation. Stories of real women who set direction to such trend are shared. The second choice pertains to becoming an innovative connector rather than remaining an isolated competitor. based on lots of historical data and support. Fragmentation describes how the duration of a day is seen in tiny pieces. Loss of a capacity to observe. and the shift one should make to move towards the brighter possibilities. Third part discusses the crafted future. Fourth part is where Lynda explains the shift. And that goes on to suggest that one should continue to have real relationships which are face to face so that the belonging needs are taken care of. Second part elaborates on the idea of default future. each having a high value associated with it. as a result of development in technology that can enable individuals to run their own businesses. virtual relationships. Like Lynda observed. Using fictitious stories that represent how work might be in 2025. isolation leads to shallow lives that are often searching for friendship and love. On the social engagement point. This Vinay Kumar Chaganti. and micro-entrepreneurship. and exclusion. The idea of having three levels of contacts— posse. the ones we can call upon anytime. a bigger network of people from where we can draw on ideas—is a particularly impressive thought. convinces the reader that empathy among people is increasing and that more people prefer to be happy than be rich. the way author makes her point.and „The shift‟ to represent the dark and bright possibilities of future. Default future is explained as a consequence of three factors namely fragmentation. and narcissism are seen as resulting in the creation of a global new poor that becomes a kind of excluded community that cannot find itself a place appropriate in a fast moving life. Micro-entrepreneurship is seen as a strong opposite side of large organizations becoming even larger. Distrust and passive leisure time are identified as factors that can lead to isolated life styles which are denuded of happiness. isolation. Increasing disparity in rich and poor. Lynda observes that bright future can be made only through co-creation. the author.
she posits that money would begin to fade out the career equation that so far said. the approach Lynda adopted in explaining the future of work catches attention. Lastly. and how they can be wise about what they decide to do. the fifth part gives notes to children. Since baby boomers and GenX would have used up a large portion of world‟s resources. leaders. Stories. Assistant Professor School of Management Studies. working executives and politicians about what the future might mean to them. it would be the responsibility of GenZ who would take on leadership roles in 2025 to take necessary corrective measures. Just imagine a world where 5 billion people are connected through handheld devices and what that might mean to the work! Want to know it. The book has few supplements available online including a workbook to assess our current working behavior. the equation in 2025 would read. 'I do because I get paid'. Instead. The third decision is about deciding to be an impassioned producer and not being a voracious consumer. grab your copy of the book. Talking about the careers one might choose. feel as if someone travelled in time to come back and explain future to us—and the wise thing about those stories is all that is said is feasible and not out of what one can imagine.is where her idea of having different levels of relationships finds its relevance. The most critical measure could include promoting the idea of saving energy or using it efficiently by being wise about how much we consume. though fictitious. ‘I do because I am passionate about doing it’. Vizianagaram . MVGR College of Engineering. All said aside. and what we might want to be in 2025. Vinay Kumar Chaganti.