Gone are the days of the Super-Dedicated workforce. A time where an employee enters the corporate world with the intention of working 20, 30, 40 years for a single company until retirement. Welcome to the age of the Super-Dynamic employee.
There is one thing that the 21st century can promise you, and that would be “Change” …
Change at a pace humanity has never seen before in its lifetime. And this rapid pace of change (other than the change itself) will affect every aspect of our lives, including some of the most fundamental aspects, such as the way we think of our work and career.
This stems from the shift into the information age, led by the relatively general availability of the internet. At a 50,000 foot level, the internet was a game changer for the business world on many levels. At a more direct level, it’s challenging information based businesses such as news, movies, television and music by making all forms of information readily available to the masses, in many cases at no cost. At a more implicit level, it’s been a catalyst for Globalization. Were we are seeing the collapse of international boarders for where business can be done, and products can be sold.
This then forms a perfect storm to disrupt the way business works. Many businesses today, both mature and new, successful or not, are in ultra-adaptation mode. Keeping their business model and resources as flexible as possible to any upcoming change that may broadside them.
The workforce is also evolving. Many of the next generation employees that make up the new workforce come from a time that has seen their parents or relatives, after years of dedication to their career and employer, being “let go” due to change. Swearing this will never happen to them, they adopt a new view on their career. One that not only prepares for, but embraces and even takes control of change. They stay in school longer and take on a wide breadth of courses and degrees. When entered into the workforce, they have a sense for change, and are not afraid to ride the wave of skills demand in opportunistic fashion.
This is not to say that this new breed of employee is not productive, innovative, or motivated. In fact it is these qualities that is driving their evolution. As discussed in my previous post, “Entitlement or Enlightenment”, many view this generation as one to have a heightened sense of entitlement, or even refer to them as “spoiled”. When I believe, in fact, that this is merely an adaptation to their environment. And instead it is those judging that are likely bound for extinction. Because the next generation ultra-adaptable business will need to be made up of Super-Dynamic employees.