The future of work

Since the start of the year, I’ve been heading up our Social Business Consultancy here at 1000heads, and I’ve been spending a lot of my time this month listening rather than talking; seeking ideas from a huge range of people on what a ’social business’ of the future really should look like and the challenges in implementing some of those changes now.

Our social consultancy clients include Mars, Heineken, Nokia, Cancer Research UK, Veria and LocateTV, so we well know that being social can mean something very different depending on what sort of company you are – the approach has to be bespoke.

However, I’m also a believer in starting with what the ideal social business might be and being bold in challenging businesses to question and evolve themselves as radically as possible.

Last week’s #trulondon Social Recruiting Unconference provided some provocative insights. Far from just looking at social recruitment, the discussions ranged from corporate culture and internal blogging to personal branding and legal issues. One of the best (and most divisive) sessions looked at The Future of Work, where we discussed whether (and which) businesses really will move towards a decentralised, networked and mobile way of doing things.

A particular inspiration was Kevin Wheeler, whose Future of Talent Institute has some valuable insights on working culture, structure and tools in a social world. Browsing his site, I was reminded of this Clay Shirky video on Institutions vs Collaboration presented at TED in 2005.

Yes, 2005.

The ways in which work is going to change have been obvious to many people for a while, but businesses are only just starting to take baby steps towards implementing them. It’s time to accelerate the rate of change. Businesses have always been slower than people, but that excuse is wearing increasingly thin.

I am, as you can, tell, on a mission. Get in touch if you want to join in.

Molly Flatt